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Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite
Zuri and the Monster by Tanisha Chambers is a darling bedtime picture book, short and sweet with soothing colors in the many illustrations. After Zuri’s mom reads a bedtime story, Zuri usually goes right to sleep, but not this time! Zuri hears a monster squeaking in her closet and she gets out of bed to investigate. At first, Zuri is scared, but then she gets more and more frustrated because the monster won’t come out and play with her. She searches through her room, begs and pleads, and finally she promises the monster that she’s not afraid of him. And the ending to the story is perfect.
I don’t know if Zuri and the Monster will help children not to be afraid of nighttime noises, but Tanisha Chambers puts a sweet twist on a common problem. I enjoyed the gentle, kid-friendly illustrations. They are simple but with enough detail for a child to find things that interest them. A child could look through the book on their own and figure out most of the story just from the pictures. As a mom, I also appreciate that Zuri and the Monster is a calming and very short tale for bedtime. In children’s picture books with a minimum of text, every word has to be just right. I think Tanisha Chambers has nailed it. This is a monster bedtime story that won’t scare the kids, although they may ask for a parent to carefully inspect the bedroom, but that’s kind of expected anyway. Nicely done.