The main character of our story hears of a nasty rumor going around, a rumor that makes him question his very existence. If monsters aren't real, what in the world is he? He checks a mirror and performs a few basic tests. Yep, big, strong, scary monster, all right. Monsters are real and this one will prove it.
What are the best ways to get the message out? Why, with spray paint and an overpass, of course! Monsters don't give a whit about legalities, you know. He sends up a slew of helium balloons bearing messages that refute the nasty rumor and blankets the town's trees with photographs of his scary face.
On a more personal level, the monster starts scaring people directly. He tries anyway. He juggles cows in the farmer's field, uproots a tree and shakes it near a mother and her infant, and puts in an appearance at a birthday party with his scariest face. There are no screams or horrified reactions - nobody pays any attention to him. When the monster finds his overpass graffiti message altered, he just gives up. He's bawling away in the forest, when another monster emerges from a tree to bolster his spirits. On the very last page, the two walk away hand in hand, vowing to prove that monsters are real.
It's a cute story with lovable illustrations. I love the determined look on the monster's face as he pedals off on his little red bicycle. This would be a great choice for a child who is having a hard time believing that monsters are fiction - a way to see how harmless those monsters really are. It's hard to be afraid of someone who plays video games with kids and sobs in the forest.
Review copy provided by Kane/Miller.