Caramel reviews The Monster in My Basement by Dave Preston

Today Caramel talks about The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes and asking followup questions.

The book bunnies received this book from the publisher (CrissCross Applesauce, a City of Light Publishing imprint) as a review copy.

Caramel reviews The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris.
Caramel reviews The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what do you want to tell us about this book?

Caramel: It’s about the monster in the basement of Dave’s house.

S: Who is Dave?

C: Dave is a little boy. He is the main person in the story.

S: The author’s name is Dave, too. Maybe he is writing about a time when he was a little boy?

C: Oh yes. And maybe he believed that there was a monster in his basement!

S: That is possible! Remember that other book you reviewed about this other boy who had a monster in his closet?

C: Yes: How to Catch a Monster. That book was also fun.

S: So is this book fun to read?

C: Yep. In the very beginning, Dave puts on a blanket as a cape and puts a pot on his head as a helmet, and the top of the pot is his shield. He uses a wooden spoon as a sword.

S: So all ready to take on the monster in the basement?

C: I don’t know if he knows then there is a monster in the basement. But then he hears it groan and is really afraid.

S: But he still goes into the basement?

C: Yes. He is a bit too curious, I think.

S: So are you telling me you would not have gone to check?

C: Well, probably not. I am a scaredy bunny.

S: I am not so sure of that! But okay, this kid, his name is Dave, and he finds a monster in his basement. Then what?

C: We should not give away the entire story!

S: You’re right. We won’t. But I think you can say a little bit more.

C: The monster, his name is Howard, he says he is hungry and Dave thinks he is the dinner!

S: That does sound scary! And they meet Howard’s mom, and Dave is still pretty scared, right?

C: Yep. But I think I won’t say more about what happens next. Curious bunnies need to read the book to learn!

Caramel is reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris. On these two pages, Dave meets Howard's mom.
Caramel is reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris. On these two pages, Dave meets Howard’s mom.

S: Alright, that’s fair. Let us talk a bit more about the book in general terms then. What can you tell us about the pictures?

C: They’re very colorful. Mostly red, black, yellow. Howard is very colorful too. His hair is red and his eyes are yellow!

S: So he does look scary, right?

C: Yes, and so Dave is always scared. Till the end. But I won’t tell the end. A bunny must not tell his secrets.

S: Yes, we agreed that you won’t tell the end. But now I’m curious about what other secrets you’re keeping from me…

C: Oh nothing… Let’s talk more about the book!

S: Okay, I’ll let that slide. For now. Let us talk about the book. There are notes at the end for a song about the book, right?

C: Yes. And there is a web page where you can listen to the song too.

S: Yes, we did visit that site and listened to the song from the beginning to the end together. The author Dave Preston wrote the song, too. What did you think about it?

C: The song is fun, too. It goes through the entire book actually.

S: Yes, then you can hear for yourself the rhyme in the text, right?

C: Yes, there is the part “shake a little bit, shake a little bit, shake, shake, shake”, which they repeat all the time.

S: Yes, that is called a refrain. That part occurs several times in the book, and in the song, too, of course, to remind us that Dave is scared!

C: Yes, he’s scared of being Howard’s lunch. Or dinner. Not sure, who knows… And you know, one of my favorite parts is that when Howard’s mom says “It’s time to eat!” the clock is there, and instead of numbers, it has the letters of the word HUNGRY. Twice, circling around the clock!

S: Yes, that is a nice touch, and a very good observation for a little bunny like yourself!

C: Yep, I am a careful reader.

S: Okay, I think it is time for us to wrap up this review. What are your three words to describe this book?

C: Repetitive, colorful, and funny.

S: Repetitive in a good sense, though, I suppose, no?

C: Yep. It’s like a nursery rhyme, or a song with a repetition. It’s called a refrain, you tell me. Right?

S: Right. So what do you say when we’re wrapping up our review?

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews!

Caramel has really enjoyed reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris, and would recommend it to all other little bunnies.
Caramel has really enjoyed reading The Monster in My Basement, written by Dave Preston and illustrated by Heather Lynn Harris, and would recommend it to all other little bunnies.

Caramel reviews How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton

Caramel has been reading all sorts of books these days, but picture books are always among his favorites. Today he reviews for the book bunnies blog a picture book by author-illustrators Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton: How to Catch a Monster. As usual, Sprinkles is asking questions and taking notes.

Caramel reviews How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton.
Caramel reviews How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton.

Sprinkles: So Caramel, what made you want to review this book?

Caramel: I like it.

S: So can you tell us what it is about?

C: It’s about a little boy who is trying to catch the monster in his closet. And then they become friends.

S: That sounds scary first and then fun later.

C: Yep. It is. Apparently the monster practices how to roar!

S: Hmm, kind of like you practicing playing an instrument or singing, right?

C: Yep, I guess so.

S: What else do you think monsters do?

C: This one burps! And his burp smells like strawberries and lime. Which is pretty disgusting.

S: Why do you think so? I like strawberries, and mixed with lime, they might make a neat chewing gum flavor for instance.

C: Yes, but thinking of it as a burp smell makes it pretty disgusting.

S: I can see that. But I am guessing that the monster’s burp smells nice because the monster is actually not a bad monster. Right?

C: Yes. That’s right!

Caramel is reading How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton. He is on the pages where the boy who is narrating the story is trying to catch the monster in his closet using his "super-sticky ninja-nabbing net".
Caramel is reading How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton. He is on the pages where the boy who is narrating the story is trying to catch the monster in his closet using his “super-sticky ninja-nabbing net”.

S: Did you notice that on each two-page spread, there are four lines of text, all written in rhyme?

C: Let me see. Oh yes, that is true. There are rhyming words at the end of the second and fourth lines!

S: That would make it more fun to read out loud. Don’t you think?

C: Yes. “Yet” and “net”, “miss” and “this”, “sad” and “mad”, “mistake” and “awake”. You’re right! It would be more fun to read out loud!

S: So maybe when we are done with this review, we can read it out loud together. What do you think?

C: Okay, I like that idea!

S: So what three words would you use to describe this book?

C: “Fun”, “rhyming”, and “colorful”. Or maybe “imaginative”.

S: It is true this is a really imaginative book! A lot of little bunnies think there is a monster in their closet, or sometimes under their bed. And this book seems to play with that idea and make it fun.

C: Yep!

S: I know you close the door to your closet every night. Would you like to think that there is a monster like this one inside?

C: I’ve checked my closet. There is no such thing in mine.

S: But say there was? Would it be fun to have a playful monster like this in there?

C: It could be cool. This monster is fun. Hmm, maybe I should check my closet again.

S: Okay, we can go look together. After you wrap up this review by saying …

C: Stay tuned for more book bunny reviews! And also there are no monsters in my closet!

Caramel has enjoyed reading How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton, and recommends it to all little bunnies who love monsters and those others who are scared of the monster in their closets.
Caramel has enjoyed reading How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton, and recommends it to all little bunnies who love monsters and those others who are scared of the monster in their closets.