From School Library Journal
PreS-1-Three little monsters love to CRASH!, BASH!, and SMASH! Every day they argue over who is the best monster, until they join forces to "make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!" At first, their efforts look successful, but to their horror, the creature's first words after tearing off his bandages are "Dank you." The enormous Frankenstein look-alike contents himself with breathing fresh air and gently greeting the spiders, bats, and rats in the castle. But just as the little monsters begin to despair, Monster lets out a ROAR and smashes through the dungeon wall, heading toward the "monster-fearing village" below. Is he finally off to make mayhem? Or will his exploits end in a lesson for the little monsters about gratitude and sharing? McDonnell's monsters are comic and endearing, and the book's colors gently shift from dark and gloomy to warm as the story progresses. The message is well executed, and the little beasts' exuberance at their badness keeps the tale from devolving into platitudes. This delightful title will provide a new option for "not so scary" monster storytimes.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
McDonnell moves from cozy biography (Booklist Top of the List winner Me . . . Jane, 2011) to, naturally, marauding monsters. Grouch (the horned one), Grump (the furry one), and Gloom ’n’ Doom (the two-headed one) are certain that they’re awesome monsters: “They lived in a dark monster castle, high atop a dark monster mountain overlooking a monster-fearing village.” Their monstrous proclivities will be familiar to young readers: they complain, throw tantrums, and fight—but it’s just not enough! So they build a Frankenstein monster to “make mayhem in the village.” Problem! Monster no like mayhem. Monster like petting spiders and eating jelly donuts and relaxing on beach. Baffled by Monster’s behavior, the three friends have no choice but to give his easygoing manner a try. McDonnell arranges the tale so that it blooms like a dawning day, beginning in muddy grays and browns before lightening to blue and yellow as the morning—and the characters—brighten. The friends are appropriately tiny, the monster appropriately big, and the message appropriately sweet. Relax, little monsters, and enjoy the day. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus