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.
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 BroderickCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved