Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Book a Day: Day 16
Yet another snow-day, but the library is open (at least it was last I heard). So for today a controversial selection for our review: "Monsters Eat Whiny Children" by Bruce Eric Kaplan. While no actual children are consumed in this book, the plot centers around monsters who kidnap two whiny kids intending to eat them and deciding upon the best recipe. In the end, of course, as Hansel and Gretel do, the children turn the tables on the monsters and make their getaway. The book has edge, that's for sure, but I found it funny. Opinions among the library staff are mixed and from reading reviews I would say that you either find this book darkly funny or inappropriate. Definitely not for the youngest children, but I think certain kindergartners and older kids will find it amusing. It's worth noting that Kaplan is a frequent cartoon contributor to the New Yorker and his illustration style isn't altered much for the younger audience. He has also been a television writer for "Seinfeld" and "Six Feet Under". You can use those cultural references to help you decide if this book might be for you and your children. For me, this book has a fairy-tale, slightly Maurice Sendak, quality to it, and I think sometimes a little darkness in a picture book is refreshing. This book has the call number JE Kaplan.