Wednesday, July 5, 2017

*Review* If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed by Denise Vega

Genre: Children's Illustrated
Published: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 40


If you have a monster that won’t go to bed, don’t bother asking your parents to help. They know a lot about putting kids to bed, but nothing about putting monsters to bed. It’s not their fault; they’re just not good at it. Read this book instead. 

It will tell you what to feed your monster before bed (it’s not warm milk), and what to sing to your monster (it’s not a soothing lullaby), and what to read to your monster to send him off to dreamland in no time (the scarier, the better).


I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program in the hopes that I would leave an honest review. 

This is a super cute story about how to get your monster to go to bed. From a parent's perspective, it's basically a silly bedtime routine, just made gross for monsters. While I haven't read it a hundred times yet, I'm pretty sure it's a book I won't mind reading over and over, within reason of course. The story was just fun to read. 

The illustrations were very colorful, largely because of the monster. He's very pretty. They were also on the simple side with not a lot going on in each frame, but that just helps to keep them from being too much of a distraction from the story. And while it's not an issue for my family (my kids will see themselves represented everywhere), I love that the main character is a person of color. And it looks to me like the monster's horns(?) mirror it's kids hair, which I thought was a nice touch. There is diversity amongst the characters within the story too (when we see more than just the girl and her monster). 

Another thing I loved about this story is when the girl gets to the list of things to do to get your monster to go to bed, the steps are listed out as if the girl is actually writing them down herself on the double lined paper that kids learn how to write on (does my description make sense?). The vocabulary was simple enough that my just recently turned six year old was able to read this story back to me with minimal assistance several hours after I first read it to her. 

Overall I give If Your Monster Won't Go to Bed 5 out of 5 stars because it was cute, silly, fun, and I don't dread the idea of reading it over and over again. And here is what my daughter had to say about it. 

Buy the Book

About the Author

DENISE VEGA is the author of several books for young readers, including Click Here (To Find Out How I Survived Seventh Grade), Fact of Life #31, Build a Burrito, Access Denied, and Rock On. She lives in Colorado with her family. Find her online at
ZACHARIAH OHORA is an award-winning illustrator and children’s book author. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Atlantic, and Bloomberg Businessweek, as well as on NPR. He is the author-illustrator of My Cousin Momo; No Fits, Nilson!; and Stop Snoring, Bernard! and is the illustrator of Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman and The Pet Project by Lisa Wheeler. Find out more at and @ZachariahOHora.


  1. The ability to reread a children's book is vital, so I am glad that this one seems like it has that. Children always want you to read the same book over and over, so glad you mentioned that here. It sounds like a really interesting children's book and enjoyable for them as well.

    1. Right! Any time I'm reading a new kids book, I ask myself if I could stand to read it over and over again. I've even been known to pre-screen kids books I've won, and some of them have failed the test, so my kids never even learned of their existence. I really feel that as a parent, that is an important aspect of kids books to consider and report on because it's the kind of thing I would want to know. - Katie

  2. To highbrow for me... I would need help, care to loan her out?

  3. I bet your Pugglepire would really enjoy this book. You should buy it for him. - Katie

  4. Oh, I am in love with her! Thank you so much for your lovely review and the video. It made me laugh! I especially appreciate the emphasis on the read-aloud aspect and how your daughter noted the silly parts and the sound effects in the illustrations. Picture books are meant to be read aloud and I hope most reviewers do what you did and read it aloud to a child for the full experience. Thank you for making my day!