When the publisher’s review of the book starts off with “A gentle blend of spooky and sweet” you pretty much have said the majority of what you need to know about the book. However, you also could say that in I Will Read to You Gideon Sterer has a young boy who wonders who reads to the monsters of the world. He has his mom to read to him, but who do they have? When the mom says no one, because they are monsters, our young hero will not take that as an answer, and goes off to read to the monsters.
The idea can be taken literally or he is reading to his stuffed animals, but either way, it is either a really cute idea or you are a bit exasperated by it. Let me explain, if you are the type of person who encourages the child to have imagination and to “go out and do their thing” then this is fine. But if you are the type of person who is “seriously kid? Let me read you a bedtime story and you can hit the hay!” then it is not as fine. It is a “your own personal taste kind of book” (like all books are).
Though I am a bit more exasperated with the kid than most would be (hey, I’m not a parent, but I’ve been around little kids and trust me, mom just wants to hit the hay herself!) I was a fan of the Charles Santoso illustrations. I like the busy simplicity (or simple busyness, I’m not sure which way that should be said) and the colors are mood setting. The right darker colors to show evening, but light enough to keep it fun. The monsters are cute, clever and spooky. There is a mixture of classic and modern tones to things.
Overall, it is a nice book. Not my favorite, not my least favorite. It is comfortable. And in August 2023 I know a few people I will be buying copies for as baby shower gifts (though it is more aimed at ages three to seven/eight crowd). And while I noticed there was a specific little monster on several pages, I did not realize this orange friend is on all the pages (or at least majority) and you can look for them.