Monsters Love School by Mike Austin
Last year I reviewed Mike Austin's Monsters Love Colors. Austin took a pretty standard concept book and turned it into an energy-filled-outing with some scribbly-but-sweet monsters who are very fun to spend time with. In Monsters Love School, Austin and his monsters work their magic again, this time taking a pretty standard starting school story and making it special.
Monsters Love School begins with something adults and kids know to be true - summer is awesome. But, what all adults and older kids know, summer always comes to an end.
However, as the title tells us, Monsters Love School! Well, all monsters except one - Blue, who already knows his "ABGs and 413s and XYDs!" and wonders just what school is for?
With Miss Wiggles the crossing guard, Principal Blinkin, a cyclops, and Miss Scribble, the art teacher, Blue learns that Monster School is really cool! And he gets the what-for from all his friends who fill him in on all the great things about school.
Austin's monsters are expressive and cheerful and his illustrations portray the low-grade chaos that sometimes comes with preschool and/or kindergarden in a fantastic, colorful collage style that works perfectly for this kind of story. And, while I love the two-page spread that introduces Chef Octi and the cafeteria, Mr. Reed, the school librarian, and his Explorer Book Club is my favorite! The end of the day comes too soon but with the happy, explosive exclamation, "I LOVE MONSTER SCHOOL!" that sums up the energy and exuberance that Austin brings to this fantastic back to school book!
Source: Review Copy