Bedtime for Monsters Too!

By Sharon Cramer
Talking Bird Books, 45 pages, $14.95

Do you have a monster living under your bed? Marlow, the hero of Sharon Cramer’s book Marlow and the Monster, definitely has that problem. Every night, a pesky, sneaky Monster comes in through his bedroom window and dives under the bed. Unfortunately, Marlow’s parents don’t believe in monsters, so he can’t get help from them. Marlow tries to reason with the Monster and politely asks it to go away. Nothing helps! Marlow isn’t scared; he is just getting tired of the Monster’s tricks and mischievous antics. Cramer’s clever illustrations highlight the Monster’s actions. Marlow’s world is colored in black and white (with quill pen and ink), except for the Monster who wears fantastic, flashy, bold colors. Marlow finally comes up with a plan. His little sister Sarah must know what to do, or else Marlow can convince the Monster to live under Sarah’s bed! Leave it to little sisters to save the day!

Adults should talk with kids about monsters and anxiety. Help the children see monsters in a positive light – something silly and fun – and they can better confront their fears. The book’s surprising ending is bound to please everyone, especially monsters.

Reviewed by Elizabeth Franklin