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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
The Big Red Monster, written by Lois Wickstrom and cleverly illustrated by Nicolás Milano, is a contemporary version of a Hindu Teaching Tale – stories written to instruct Hindus in their beliefs or make a moral point. This yarn is told in the first person, present tense, by a little girl whose problem is that her brother scoffs at her. He doesn’t believe the Big Red Monster exists. One night, she looks under her bed where the monster lives, and asks him what he wants. The Big Red Monster must be bored; he demands that the little girl gives him work to do. Worse, he threatens to eat her if she fails to keep him fully occupied! It ought to be easy – tidying her bedroom, washing the dishes, but those jobs are already done.
This is a children’s book, I am an adult, and I found it hard to imagine how the Big Red Monster might be defeated, and it was tough to wait for the end. Fortunately, as no intrigued child fascinated by Nicolás Milano’s brilliant colored drawings held me up, I was able to read on quickly. The dog gave our heroine some respite when she set her monster to bathe it, but all too soon it was clean and fluffy, so she had to use her imagination. My Big Red Monster by Lois Wickstrom is a superb picture book for children with exactly the right amount of text to keep the story going, and the moral is ... Buy it and see; it’s FUN.