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Wanda's Monster Library Binding – September 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Wanda is convinced that there is a monster in her closet. Her parents try to prove that there is nothing to fear, and her big brother makes fun of her. However, Granny comes in, listens at the closet door, and says, "Yep,- I do believe there's one in there." Then she appeals to her granddaughter's compassionate side, explaining that the monster must be uncomfortable in the closet with only a rubber boot on which to rest its head. The tactic works. Wanda creates a friendship with the imaginary creature, and 17 days later, as per Granny's decree, the intruder departs, with good-bye gifts. When Ruthie bewails the monster in her closet, Wanda is left to take her cousin under her wing and explain how to handle the situation. This story is a delightful variation of the hiding-monster theme popularized by Mercer Mayer's There's Something in My Attic and There's a Nightmare in My Closet (both Puffin, 1992) and James Howe's There's a Monster under My Bed (Atheneum, 1986). Spinelli adds the charming element of Wanda guiding her young relative through the fearful mysteries of childhood after vanquishing her own fears. Hayashi's pleasant watercolors, reminiscent of Mayer's style, accompany the text of this enjoyable story that will enrich most collections.
Be Astengo, Alachua County Library, Gainesville, FL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. On the heels of the movie Monsters, Inc., this picture book offers another entertaining twist on the scary monster-in-the-closet theme. When Granny suggests that monsters hide because they are shy, young Wanda learns to see nighttime through the eyes of the fearful creature. She tries to make his closet experience a bit more comfortable, throwing a pillow into the closet and reading him a story before bed. When Granny says it is time for the monster to move on, Wanda sends him a scarf and a card to see him on his way. But then it's her turn to comfort her fearful cousin, Ruthie, who is screaming about the monster in her closet. Hayashi's watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations do a great job of melding the real and the imaginary in Spinelli's story, staying true to the child's fearful fantasies and transforming them with warmth and affection. Kathy Broderick
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Lexile Measure: 480L (What's this?)
  • Library Binding: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807586560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807586563
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,607,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joe R Muench on July 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our 3 & 5 year old really enjoyed reading this book. It is very humorous and engaging and the kids love to role-play the story. It was recently turned into a musical with songs and lyrics written by Laurie Berkner. The musical is having it's second run in NYC from 7/13/13 to 9/8/13 and you should definitely take the kids to see it! Read the NY times review here: Tickets are available online at or by calling (646) 601-1406.
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By hank hudson on March 16, 2014
Format: Library Binding Verified Purchase
The book is OK, but I ordered it based on the "very good" condition listed. As such, it won't work for us because the first page of the story was missing the bottom half, and we wanted to read it to our class in our Montessori school. That's just no way to start the story.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By alitalia on December 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most charming children's books I have ever read. The story has stuck with me since the first time I read it, and I have never been able to forget it. The delightfully creative way the grandma comes up with to help Wanda deal with the monster made me laugh out loud, and Wanda's compassion and older-cousin wisdom when she helps Ruthie deal with the monster is truly sweet to read.

I highly recommend this book!
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