"Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone." — Kirkus Reviews
"This prequel to Noll’s I Need My Monster (2009) is reminiscent of the Pixar film Monsters, Inc., in which professional monsters visit bedrooms to scare young children. When little Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he discovers five pairs of huge eyes staring back at him. A number of potential monsters have come to compete for the role of scaring him into staying in bed all night. Having blown their cover, the monsters emerge and take turns auditioning to see who can scare Ethan the most. The monsters are quite small, though, and he isn’t easy to scare; in fact, Ethan is delighted by the monsters’ amusing antics. McWilliam’s illustrations, done in pencil and digital acrylic paint, are bright and wonderfully lifelike—so much so that even the goofy-looking monsters may be a bit too much for the youngest readers. For those children who are ready for a little scare, though, this is a clever, fun romp." — Connie Fletcher, Booklist Online
"Monster fans are going to enjoy every page and maybe learn a little more about monsters along the way. Ethan is looking for a toy and runs across a strange letter. Soon, five pairs of eyes are staring back at him from underneath his bed. These are monsters—furry, cute, long-tailed, and sweet. But these monsters are there for a reason. They need to learn the rules when it comes to kids and bedtimes. One of the monsters is sure to be perfect for Ethan, but it will take a bit of testing to find out which one it will be. This reminded me a bit of Monsters Inc. but with a sweeter vibe. Ethan finds having monsters under his bed and in his room a little surprising, but he takes it all in stride and enjoys the fun. The monster rules seem sensible, but lead to funny situations and make it clear that finding the perfect monster-kid match isn't always easy. The monsters each bring their own personality and charm, and when Ethan and his monster are finally paired, it's simply heart-warming. Even if it might mean a little bit of a scare along the way. The illustrations are super fun to gaze through. Each monster is portrayed uniquely and holds enough emotions to make them easy to like/love. There are little details to bring the pictures to life as they follow the tale and help the humor and friendship grow more vivid with each page. It's simply a cute story young listeners are sure to enjoy."—Tonja Drecker, Bookworm for Kids
"Author Noll certainly provides the impetus for getting kids to hop in bed and stay there, but the droll, big-eyed Ethan and the pseudo-dreadful monsters under the bed done up believably by artist Howard McWilliam in pencil and acrylic make this series prime monster fodder for Halloween, --not to mention anytime bedtime stories for kids who need a reason to keep their feet in bed, well out of the way of what's under there."—Books for Kids
"My toddler doesn’t know if she wants to wear pants today, but she definitely wants “more monster.” The new board book Are You My Monster?, by Spanaway author, teacher and mother of four Amanda Noll, is a big hit in our house with the under-2 crowd. The story follows a little boy named Ethan as he compares a drawing of his monster to a series of spectacular real-life monsters. Are their teeth big or small? Do the colors match? Is the tail long or short? Illustrated by Howard McWilliam, a children’s book artist who doubles as the cover artist of the magazine The Week, the fantastic monsters inspire even the most timid of readers to invent characters and read aloud in silly voices. My little one was equally smitten with McWilliam’s board book I Love My Dragon, which follows a boy and his giant dragon as they go to the beach, swim in the pool, and eat snacks (the toddler version of gym, tan, laundry). For older kids, How I Met My Monster is the forthcoming prequel to I Need My Monster. The story follows Ethan as goofy monsters emerge from under the bed and compete to become his official monster by scaring him into staying in bed. Their attempts, more funny than frightening, will have readers ages 4-8 giggling themselves into peaceful slumber."—Sydney Parker, Seattle's Child
In a tardy prequel to I Need My Monster (2009), candidates for that coveted spot under the bed audition.
As the distressingly unflappable young narrator looks on, one monster after another gives it a go—but even with three mouths, the best roar Genghis can manage is a puny "blurp!", silly shadow puppets by shaggy Morgan elicit only a sneeze, and red Abigail's attempt to startle by hiding in the fridge merely leaves her shivering and pathetic. Fortunately, there's Gabe, who knows just how to turn big and hairy while lurking outside the bathroom and whose red-eyed stare and gross drooling sends the lad scrambling into bed to save his toes. "Kid, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," the toothy terror growls. Right he is, the lad concludes, snuggling down beneath the covers: "His snorts and ooze were perfect." As usual, the white-presenting child's big, bright, smiling face and the assortment of bumbling monsters rendered in oversaturated hues keep any actual scariness at tentacle's length. Moreover, Monster, Inc. fans will delight in McWilliam's painstaking details of fang, claw, hair, and scales.
Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone. (Picture book. 5-8)