Rummanah Aasi
  I'm a bit behind on my picture book reviews. All of the picture books that I have reviewed today are listed on the Monarch Book Award list, a list comprised of picture books that are selected by librarians, teachers, and readers themselves. If you would like to view the Monarch Book Award list, please go here.

Description: At night under a full moon, a child operates a barber shop with a monstrous clientele.

Review: If you're kids are fans of the movie Monsters Inc., they are sure to love Even Monsters Need Haircuts. This charming offbeat story is about a young boy who assists his father at his father's barbershop. At night, the young boy becomes the barber and offers his services to monsters of various kinds. The young boy's version is quite different: the photos are flipped to portraits of various creeps, and his equipment is a mite strange, too: The rotting tonic, horn polish, and stink wax go on the counter. Each monster presents a different challenge when it comes to getting a simple hair cut. The drawings are soft and the monsters appear child friendly with less emphasis on claws, teeth, etc. Even Monsters Need Haircuts is a fun story to share during and after Halloween.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades K-2

If you like this book try: Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauser


Description: Mom keeps adopting stray cats, but when cat number five arrives, Dad takes a surprising stand.

Review: That Cat Can't Stay wonderfully weaves humor, rhyming text, and funny illustrations to create a wonderful reading experience. Poor Dad is not a cat person nor is he a match for clever Mom, a cat lover who manages to finagle not one, not two, not three, but FOUR cats into the household. One by one she brings them home and uses different tactics to convince her husband to keep them. Each time Dad goes through a very long explanation of why the can't stay, but Mom is able to come with a story of all the horrible things that could happen to the kitty if he/she aren't looked after, which makes him feel guilty. I think what makes this book great are the large, exaggerated illustrations, especially of Dad's long diatribe. The watercolor illustrations gives the book a warm, fuzzy feeling, and the ending is just priceless! A great read for pet and non-pet lovers.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades K-3

If you like this book try: Me Want Pet by Tammi Sauser



Description: When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.

Review: Instead of zeroing in on not having electricity, Rocco's simple story reminds us how easily out of touch we have become with new distractions such as our phones, computers, etc. The story begins with a family of four who live in a duplex and their typical night. The younger child would like to spend sometime playing a board game and goes to each member of her family, however, each person is busying doing something else and says later. Things come to an abrupt halt when all the lights go out. After some reflection, the family reconvenes and enjoys one another company.  The book, which won the Caldecott Award last year, has simple illustrations that reflect the laid back, summertime feel to the story. It's a nice reminder to have that the spirit of togetherness can be enjoyed  together with or without the lights on. Great bedtime reading for a soft summer night.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades K-2.

If you like this book try: Chirchir Is Singing by Kelly Cunnane
4 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    "Instead of zeroing in on not having electricity, Rocco's simple story reminds us how easily out of touch we have become with new distractions such as our phones, computers, etc."

    This would have been the perfect book for me a couple weeks ago when we lost power for 7 days. It was amazing how flustered I was without my computer or Kindle, and them my phone died because obviously I couldn't charge it. Both my husband and I just sort of looked at one another and went "what do we do?" Luckily for me, I could read during the day, but my poor husband didn't know what to do with himself!

    Even Monsters Need Haircuts sounds too cute! I'm definitely recommending that one to my brother for his kids:)


  2. These all look so fun! I like the message of the last one. Everyone is so technology driven these days that we sometimes forget the simple things. The monster one looks super fun! Thanks for sharing!


  3. I so want to get Even Monsters Need Haircuts. It sounds adorable. I'll have to get it for the nieces/nephews.


  4. Candace Says:

    All three of these sound great! We LOVE Monsters Inc so I'll have to watch out for the monster one especially!


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