Sunday, October 26, 2008

Trick or Treat On Monster Street


Schnitzlein, Danny. 2008. Trick or Treat On Monster Street. Illustrated by Matt Faulkner.

I used to be a scaredy cat
afraid to sleep in my own bed.
Late at night, when things went bump,
I'd conjure monsters in my head.

My brothers knew my weakness well.
Every time they got the chance,
They'd think of ways to make me scream,
and laugh when I would wet my pants.

But now I've changed. I laugh at ghosts.
Monsters fill me with delight.
It happened, as you might have guessed,
one dark and spooky Halloween night.


Thus the book begins. There were several things about the book that I wasn't so crazy about. I thought the rhyming was lacking. It felt unnatural and forced in places. It seemed the story was being directed--in a way--by what rhymed. Not all the time. Not every stanza. Not every spread. But enough that it bugged me. The second thing that I disliked was the lack of rhythm. Lack of rhythm in a picture book is offensive to me. Rhythm, contrary to popular opinion, doesn't necessarily correlate with rhyming. And despite me trying several different times, I couldn't find a rhythm to read this one aloud where it sounded good...like it flowed...like it worked. It was just all over the place.

The story itself--minus the rhythm/rhyming issues--was okay. A boy is scared of monsters until he learns that they are scared of him and new friendships are formed. The illustrations I didn't personally care for, but I think it is just personal taste.

© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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