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Monster Baby Hardcover – June 15, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–When Mr. and Mrs. Oliver discover a baby monster on their farmhouse porch, they raise the orange-furred, purple-horned creature as their own son. Olly turns out to be incredibly precocious, outgrowing his cradle in half a day and progressing from kindergarten to college in less than two weeks. Soon he is taller than the Olivers' house and of great use on the farm. His biggest challenge is learning how to play with children, but, once he learns to be gentle, his back becomes a jungle gym and his tail a waterslide at a lakeside park. At his one-month birthday and adoption celebration, he meets Elly, a fellow monster taller than he is. In this old-fashioned story, traditional roles abound, from Mr. and Mrs. Oliver's conventional attire and duties to the gender of the nurse, principal, janitor, and teacher. There is little conflict here, and the only thing monstrous about Olly turns out to be his size. While children will enjoy the humorous watercolor cartoons of him as he negotiates a world too small for his stature, the story is not memorable. If your collection needs an additional title with kinder, gentler monsters, then this one's for you.–Rachel G. Payne, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
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Bundled in a blue blanket on the Olivers’ doorstep, orphaned baby Olly resembles any other newborn, except for the fur, the tail, the pointy teeth, and the purple horns.’ His foster parents bypass his makeshift lemon-crate cradle for a wheelbarrow to suit his rapidly growing hulky frame. Olly’s skills progress accordingly; within one month, he learns to walk and to read and graduates from the local university. Comparable to a tame Bigfoot, this towering tyke meets an unusual friend of elephantine proportions with fortuitous results. With his lavender horns, gap-fanged smile and fluffy golden mane, Olly’s more lovable than formidable; he blows the wind for children’s kites and serves as a living waterslide for afternoons of play. Cushman’s varying perspectives provide effortless amusement as the pint-sized Olivers relate to their monstrous toddler. Soft watercolor spreads suit this small town, though the abundant white space occasionally provides a stark effect. While there is little conflict in this slight story, lively images provide a sizable read-aloud, starring one huggable critter, extra-large.”Kirkus Reviews
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