A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A good counting book for those still learning their numbers and basic subtraction. Reflects the common lore about the cast of spooky creatures: The vampire runs away when he sees the sunrise, the werewolf stops to howl at the moon, the creature from the lagoon is smitten by a girl, etc.
It's fun to hang out with monsters, especially if you get to go home to your own safe bed at the end of the night.
Positive Role Models
The little boy makes an adventurous choice to spend the evening with monsters, but is responsible enough to come home at get to bed. All of the monsters look scary but act nice and fun-loving.
Violence & Scariness
The zombie's foot falls off. The scarecrow runs away from the campire, scared he'll go up in flames. The hunchback ghoul stomps too hard when he's dancing on and falls through the wood floor. A witch turns into a frog.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ten Creepy Monsters takes the classic "and then there were none" countdown ditty and gives it a spooky theme with hauntingly familiar characters and a sweet twist at the end. Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis' art is just gruesome enough to work as a Halloween book without being too scary. Mishaps are played for laughs, like when a zombie can't go on with the group after his foot falls off.
Is It Any Good?
The rhymes are clever and the intrigue mounts with verses like this one about the werewolf: "Eight creepy monsters gazed up at heaven,/ One stopped to howl, and then there were seven." Even though the story line is simple, there's a lot of action and comedy on the page, with distinctive characters doing a combination of mundane and scary stuff. And Carey F. Armstrong-Ellis' illustrations are exceptional, with many fun details that grown-ups will pick up on, like the vampire carrying a Bates Motel towel to the beach for a swim, an allusion to the classic film Psycho.
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