Gosh, this book’s cover is so friggin’ cute. I absolutely adored reading Annie Sarac’s My Monster Friends and Me. Illustrated by Alice Bereton, this is a clever and cute commentary on all the various aspects of life that, without context, can seem incredibly scary and how shining just a little light on it all makes everything turn out to be not so scary after all. I was really only afraid of things in the dark–and the depths of the ocean–when I was a kid, so I don’t know how much this would have resonated with me then, but as an adult I am quite fond of the message of knowledge can make frightening things less scary.
A fearful child.
A young kid who lives his life basically scared of everything takes readers on a journey to experience the most frightful fears alongside him. There’s that creature behind the fence with the loud scary voice and the monster outside his window late in the night. But they turn out, instead, to be simple things that aren’t so scary after all once the narrator has the time to develop an extended knowledge about them. The neighbor’s dog is actually very friendly and the darkness outside is just hiding the tree that’s beautiful during the day.
I found this story incredibly adorable with a wonderful message, that which says that not everything is as scary as it may first seem. It’s natural for kids to find the unknown scary and I love how this book promotes developing knowledge about the things that one does find frightening. In the case of this book, that extra knowledge helped the main character to overcome many of his fears. For others, it might help them to ascertain what makes a fear reasonable.
This book has some of the cutest illustrations I’ve seen in a children’s book. I adore Bereton’s style and especially love the way some of the monsters are made to look cute as well as scary. You see this even in the cover, with that absolutely adorable dog-like dragon creature. The entire book is like this, working to make the scary things less frightening by adding a cute element to it.
Ultimately, I’m definitely a fan of this book, its message, and the artwork.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.