What to Do About Your Monsters, by Jessica Woo | Dedicated Review
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The Children’s Book Review
Written and Illustrated by Jessica Woo
Age Range: 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
What to expect: Sleep, Bedtime, Fears, Monsters
What to Do About Your Monsters is a bedtime picture book that addresses the familiar tale of a child afraid to sleep in their bedroom alone. With an adorable main character, dressed in her cute one-piece red striped pajamas, What to Do About Your Monsters addresses messy feelings and fears while being wholly relatable.
Monsters are living in Kinzie’s room. They always appear right at bedtime, making it hard for her to sleep. Usually, her parents let her sleep in their room, or they sleep in hers. Until the night they tell her she has to learn to sleep in her bed by herself. As it turns out, Kinzie discovers that the monsters are afraid to sleep on their own, too. Together, Kinzie and the monsters go from worked up to tuckered out, falling asleep to a rhythmic “honk zzzz honk zzzz” snore.
Author-illustrator Jessica Woo’s work has been featured in movies such as Kung Fu Panda, Monster vs Aliens, Shrek 4, Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Croods, and Turbo. Her storytelling and animation skills give this story a heartbeat and flow that will appeal to both kids and their grownups. Readers who struggle with bedtime will recognize Kinzie’s range of emotions through Woo’s rhythmic word choices (Kinzie’s heart did a sad doo wop do wahhh)—as well as through the intentional, artsy scribbles that follow the sweet protagonist and the pack of green huggable monsters around the page. Readers will undoubtedly appreciate Kinzie’s emotive facial expressions and all of the familiar ways that Kinzie works with the monsters to settle them: warm milk, deep breathing, attempting to wear them out. Ultimately, Kinzie works through her fears and discovers that she does have the power to settle herself into a solo slumber. This complimentary story arc delivers the message that if Kinzie can do it, so can you!
Childhood sleep issues are not for the faint-hearted. What to Do About Your Monsters delivers real emotions while also providing an entraining story with which young readers will readily engage. Recommended.
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About the Author-Illustrator
Jessica Woo is an author-illustrator and a mom of two wild things. Her debut children’s book, What To Do About Your Monsters, was inspired by her oldest child. Very quickly after Jessica became a mother, she found that while adults like to sleep, kids are way too busy to ever go to bed.
Other than convincing her little ones to sleep at night, Jessica’s other talents include professional animation, art direction, and illustration. In Illustration, Jessica most recently worked on a concept art piece for Universal. In art direction, her recent project, Dinner Party, was accepted in the exclusive Sundance film festival. Finally, in animation, her work is featured in movies such as Kung Fu Panda, Monster vs Aliens, Shrek 4, Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special, Kung Fu Panda 2, The Croods, and Turbo.
An active member of SCBWI and 12 by 12, Jessica currently lives in Toluca Lake California with her family.
For more information, visit https://jessicacanter.com/insider-connection/
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