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on December 23, 2010
My daughter is three and thinks this book is hysterical. It is, admittedly, a darker sort of humor, and aimed more towards adults than children. Nevertheless, I whole-heartedly recommend this for parents of children who have a good grasp of fantasy vs. reality. If you ask my daughter what happens to whiny children, she will gleefully laugh and tell you, "Monsters EAT whiny children!"
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Monsters Eat Whiny Children is a very funny book reminiscent of classic fairy tales (you know, the Grimm kind - not the Disney kind). Young Henry and Eve (who are portrayed as pretty monsterly themselves) can't stop whining. Even when their father warns them that monsters eat whiny children, they keep right on... When the monsters do come and steal them away, they find themselves stuck in the monster's lair on the bad side of town while the monsters argue about how to eat them. The monsters bickering about whether they want Indian food, how making a salad is a waste of perfectly whiny children and even how one can't eat desserts because her bottom is too big is priceless. This will make a great read aloud that is sure to get lots of laughs. I won't be using it for preschoolers - I don't think their sense of satire has developed enough for this one yet. I wouldn't hesitate to use it for any early elementary school classroom. There's plenty of opportunity for lots of different voices and even a lesson to be learned. Well maybe...

My only reservation about the book is the illustrations. They are very simplistic and look more like they belong on the op/ed page than in a children's book. Sure they are effective in telling the story, but I just can't help wonder what this one would have been like with some illustrations that were a bit more lavish. Still a great choice for any kid ages 5 and up who likes a good monster tale. Recommended.
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on June 19, 2011
I really was intending my kids to be scared when I read this book to them because they whine A LOT. It started off good and I could tell my 4 year old was a little worried. We had to stop reading a few pages in because we had to be somewhere. My daughter kept asking when we were going to finish the book - she was concerned that the kids weren't going to make it. I should have never finished it because during those few hours when there was that uncertainty, my life was bliss. The book is cute and entertaining and the title alone makes people laugh.
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on September 8, 2010
This is a hilarious book. My five year-old laughs every time we read it. The story is simple, the jokes are good, the drawings are fabulous! The reviewer above clearly is looking at this book literally, but goodness know that a little dark humor is fun for kids! Look at the very popular TRUE STORY OF THE THREE LITTLE PIGS and SHREK (the story, not the movie.) Nothing but good fun in MONSTERS EAT WHINY CHILDREN.
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on January 9, 2011
After spending what seems like a ton of time reprimanding our children for whining, this book is a great way to lighten the mood and open up the dialogue about the topic. It shows that this is a universal point of concern, and the story itself is a cute exploration of a simple but impossible goal. My 5 and 3 year old's both love it.
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on May 10, 2011
I actually got this originally for my son (ten years old) to read, as a bit of therapy for when his three year-old sister gets on his nerves. I wasn't planning on reading it to her, since I thought it would be too scary. He liked it, but told me repeatedly that she would like it even more. Score one for my boy here; she thought it was hilarious, and wasn't scared at all. I think it worked because I already say lots of made up silly things to her that she knows aren't true, so Daddy "kidding" is already old hat. The author draws many cartoons for The New Yorker; if you have a liking for that kind of humor and think your child has inherited it, this is well worth a try.
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on October 18, 2011
Great title and super hilarious idea! But the execution leaves something to be desired. The story and art aren't that clever. What a shame. I read it in the bookstore and decided to save my money.
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on October 6, 2011
Monsters Eat Whiny Children continues on with the growing clever number of children's picture book titles that make both adults and kids pick them up off the shelf, while meanwhile they create a bit controversy as the vocal minority of extremist belief parents who believe in sheltering their fragile children from the real world cry for its removal from those shelves. Bruce Kaplan's picture book certainly achieves those objectives, but once you open the book does it deliver the goods. I'd have to say it falls a bit short. It's readable, but I think it struggles to decide who exactly it is targeting, adult readers or child readers and has settled somewhere in the middle, thereby not really satisfying either. The illustrations for a start are very basic, what you see on the cover is as good and colourful as they get on the pages inside. There's the odd bit of colouring in of a parts of a cake or a toy, but for the most part the images are just black pen outlines. The monsters don't look scary, funny or, well even like monsters, they pretty much just look like adults which make the whole abducting these kids angle a bit scarier.

The story's plot itself is basically a retelling of the old Hansel and Gretel tale, except this time the kids are abducted from their house instead of having stumbled upon a house of candy in the woods. The story is just a heap of different adults, who are neighbours of the abductor or family members, arguing over the best meal to make now that they have these whiny kids ingredients in their possession. The ingredients and meals apart from a cake and burgers though, aren't simple things most child readers will know from having eaten themselves or been exposed to in other children's stories. Vindaloo, cilantro, paprika are just a few examples. The text is pretty lengthy too for a kids' book when talking about each meal scenario.

Yet the book holds back if the target market was adults and the intention is to be a parody of a kids book like Go the F to Sleep. Monsters Eat Whiny Children does have the odd funny moment that kids or adults who are forced to have a family gathering with relatives they don't really want to spend time with can relate to, such as the old lady who spits while she talks and the wife who can't eat sugar because she says her bottom is too big. But there's not enough of these moments to make you want to pass it on as a must read to your friends, especially those who don't read much.
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on December 26, 2011
I bought this with no real intention of reading it to my daughter until she was quite a bit older. However, it is not "scary" and my daughter (who turned 2 just after I started reading it to her) absolutely loves it. It is her first or second choice almost every night. My wife, suspicious of it, sat in on one of the readings, and ended up laughing through most of the book. She found it to be completely acceptable. It is funny enough for adults that I will enjoy reading it to a table of people the next time we have some over. GREAT book!
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on January 6, 2011
Who could not give this book 5 stars? Who has not old their children things like this, but without such edge-of-your seat tension? Will the children be eaten in a salad? The map alone requires five stars.
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