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MAIA AND THE MONSTER BABY by Elizabeth Winthrop


by Elizabeth Winthrop & illustrated by Amanda Haley

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2518-1
Publisher: Holiday House

Maia and her lovable monster delight each night in spirited play until they lose their status as their parents' only offspring.

Monster's bluntly phrased observation, “Your mother has a potbelly,” triggers a distressing realization: Maia's mother is pregnant. So, it seems, is Monster's. Both struggle to adjust to the inevitable sacrifices (from Monster’s babysitting to Maia’s dismay at having to share a room). Maia's homemade sign, scrawled in red crayon, reads, “Monster Baby, STOP Screaming!” Maia demonstrates tried-and-true techniques (tickling fuzzy feet and rocking the cradle) to soothe Monster's little sibling; Monster’s humorous cross-eyed expressions keep the human sister gurgling. Parental optimism expresses more idealism than reality: Maia grumbles, “My mother says my baby sister is my new best friend,” and Monster responds knowingly, “WE are the friends. They are the babies.” Saturated in purple-hued haziness, acrylic paints and shadowy colored-pencil scenes locate the action in the cozy confines of Maia’s room. Monster’s childlike wardrobe and exuberant demeanor accommodate fur and fangs without any hint of fright.

No monstrous creativity here, but fanciful fun as friends adapt to their new family roles.

(Picture book. 3-6)