It is not often that I say, “This is the best book ever.” And with Monster ABC by Kyle Sullivan and Derek Sullivan this is one of the best Halloween alphabet board books I have read in a while. And Hush Now, Banshee!: A Not-So-Quiet Counting Book also by the Sullivan’s is a close second.
They are alphabet and counting books, however, with a more adult tone. The child will enjoy that H is for the Hobgoblin that smells like a fart (and of course, a few adults will get a kick out of that, too) and the adult will know that is coming when the page before informs us: G is for Ghost gives us a start… The Banshee is a typical child having trouble understanding why everyone is grumpy when she just (loudly) wants to say hello. Both are educational but they are also funny (especially Banshee). Some words are a bit over a child’s head, such as the monster, Xing Tian (and it might for some adults as well) but overall, they are relatively easy monsters to pronounce.
The illustrations are goofy and unrealistic, yet, they tell the story perfectly and help make monsters not so scary, even if they are a bit odd looking, even gruesome in some cases. There is a lot going on within the illustrations of Banshee because it is a story with counting, whereas Monster ABC is a straight forward alphabet book. Yet, both are easy to understand stories.
The author and illustrator have also created Goodnight Krampus and Don’t Eat Me, Chupacabra! (in English and Spanish).