My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck
by Laura Leuck
Illustrations by Mark Buehner
Topics: mothers, love, monsters
In this brief, bright tale a little monster tells readers how he knows his monster mama loves him:
When I wake up, she tweaks my nose,
tickles all my pointy toes,
combs the cobwebs from my bangs,
and makes sure that I brush my fangs.
Preschoolers will shriek with delight at the bug-filled cookies, the beastball games, and little monster's bedroom pets (spiders, bats, mice, snakes) that are all part of this loving monster-and-child relationship. There's plenty of mother-child activities they'll relate to including reading by the fire on a rainy day, going for a stroll in the park, and listening to Mama sing a lullaby to help them sleep. The three-eyed, three-legged, four-armed monsters (handy on the jungle gym) are really quite sweet-looking, so there's no need to worry about a younger child being scared. In fact, in this story, the regular kids are the "scary things" that "wave their arms and scream and shout"!
This rhyming story makes a perfect read-aloud choice for preschoolers — there's plenty of great moments for anticipatory pauses. The story is short, the language, simple, and the activities, familiar, making this a good choice for very young children. The story ends with the monster being lulled to sleep, so choose this one as a goodnight story.
The painted illustrations are bright and witty and make the most of the monsters differences, while providing familiar details. For example, the illustration of the mama monster combing her son's hair really emphasizes the monster's extra limbs (he's sitting on a 4 legged stool), but also has a familiar spray bottle, comb, and brush. Older children will enjoy pointing out the details: lots of spiders hanging here and there, the spider fabric on the rocking chair, the one-eyed dog, the skulls on the headboard.
And, of course, monster mamas everywhere will enjoy the appreciative nature of this tale.
Laura Leuck has written many children's picture books with similar themes including My Beastly Brother, Jeepers Creepers: A Monstrous ABC, and My Creature Teacher.
Mark Buehner has illustrated many wonderful picture books including Snowmen at Night, It's a Spoon, Not a Shovel, and Superdog: The Heart of the Hero, all written by his wife, Caralyn Buehner.