Picture books take a lot of talent to do correctly. In many ways, I think it is harder to write a picture book (or a short story) than it is to write a novel, because you have to fit everything in the story into a much smaller package while making it coherent and interesting. My friend has been going on about how awesome Rick Walton is for years, and I’ve known Jess Smart Smiley for a number of years, too (through meeting at conventions and such).
10 Little Monsters Visit Oregon is a counting book, similar to many other counting books, but with one big difference: monsters! As the ten monsters make their way through the state, having mishap after mishap, their numbers dwindle one by one. The whimsical, goofy, and down-right fun drawings of Smiley combine with Walton’s rhyming prose to create an entertaining picture book kids (adults, too!) will love.
As I have a toddler and all kinds of nieces and nephews who have been toddlers at one point or another, I have read a fair number of counting books over the years. The bright colors and fun storyline in 10 Little Monsters Visit Oregon will grab the attention of kids learning numbers and make them want to keep reading to the end. I also really liked the aside-blurbs on most of the pages, telling about the various locations visited by the monsters. A little bit of reality sprinkled in with the fun.
I recommend 10 Little Monsters Visit Oregon. It is just plain fun, and learning numbers should be fun. Learn them all over again as you read this book to your favorite toddler. Then buy some Tillamook ice cream to make it a night to remember.
Release Date: September 16, 2014 (USA)
ISBNs: 1939629292 (9781939629296)
Violence: 1 (comic violence (no monster seemed terribly hurt by it))