by
Jackie French
Koller
(Boyds Mills Press - ISBN: 1-56397-490-8)
Do You Believe in Monsters?
Howard does. But his mommy says there are no such things as monsters.  And Monster
believes in boys, even though his mommy says boys are just make believe. Join in the
fun when Howard and Monster turn the tables on their disbelieving mommies!
*Primary teachers who are looking for an open-ended tale for students to complete should,
indeed, pounce on this one...Monstrously entertaining--Bulletin for the Center for Children's
Books
* A Junior Library Guild Selection
* A Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book
* A Society of School Librarians International Honor Book
* A Bank Street College Annual Children's Book Award Honor Book
From School Library Journal:

PreSchool-Grade 2. When Howard tells his mother about the monster under his bed, she says there's no
such thing. Young Monster's mother says the same thing when he describes the boy on top of the bed.
When the two at last meet, however, with an eye-popping mutual "Aagh!" it's clear that they have much in
common, including parents long since fed up with their offspring's imaginations. The bonds of friendship
forge, and the final page shows the two hatching a plan to scare their disbelieving moms. Like Mercer
Mayer's There's a Nightmare in My Closet (Dial, 1968), this is a satisfying version of the familiar tale of
child/monster coexistence. It runs a gamut of emotions from apprehension to frustration (both child and
parent), terror, empathy, to, finally, the friendly sharing of a good joke. Lewin's ink-and-wash cartoon
scrawls lend just the right exaggerated and humorous touch to put Koller's all-too-likely scenario over the
top. Children will recognize themselves in this tale and will enjoy conjuring up denouements limited only
by their imaginations.?Meg Stackpole, Rye Free Reading Room, NY Copyright 1997 Reed Business
Information, Inc.

From Booklist:

Ages 5-8. Koller takes a familiar story and adds a humorous twist: from under the bed, a monster mother
tells her frightened son, "There are no such things as boys." The story cuts back and forth, alternating
typical night fright scenes between the boy and his mother with the monster version of the same scene
taking place under the bed. In a clever final scene, boy and monster, having discovered each other, team
up to trick the moms by switching places and giving one last call for help. Koller's timing is right on, and
Lewin's illustrations, expressive watercolors accented with thick, loose black line, have the same fast,
humorous pace as the story. Librarians who think they don't need another monster-under-the-bed story
might want to reconsider. Lauren Peterson

From Kirkus Reviews:

Any child who has been convinced of the presence of a monster at bedtime will feel vindicated by this
satisfying story from Koller (A Place to Call Home, 1995, etc.). During his first night in his new home,
Howard is fearful of a monster he thinks is under the bed. His mother assures him there is none, and
leaves. Meanwhile, under the bed, Monster's mother is reassuring him that there are no such things as
boys, one of whom he is certain is on top of his bed. She tucks him in and leaves. After several similar
confrontations, the exasperated mothers have had it, so the boy and the monster must deal with each
other directly. Conquering their fears, each has a moment of hysterical laughter over the idea that he
might eat the other. Then they hatch a terrific plan, trading places on the bed and calling upon their
mothers one last time. Readers are left to guess how the mothers will react. The versatile Lewin works in
flowing watercolors, a loose style that makes the overlap between the boy's and monster's worlds
completely acceptable and intensifies the story's humor. This tautly told story in which two stern mothers
get their comeuppances is irresistible. (Junior Library Guild selection) (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright
©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
*Nebraska Golden Sower Children's Choice Award - 2000