07 November 2009

The Monster in the Bubble

The Monster in the Bubble is the 3rd and finest installment in the WorryWoo Monster series of books by New Jersey author and illustrator Andi Green.

The series is centered around emotions - Nola is lonely, Rue is insecure and Squeek, the pink hero of The Monster in the Bubble, well, he's locked himself inside a comfort zone.  He (that's right, a boy who's pink - gasp!) shares tendencies with many of us - whether it's something huge like being afraid to chase down a dream or something everyday-ish like frequenting chain restaurants to avoid the risk of the unknown and a potential bad meal (instead, we settle for a mediocre one we're familiar with).  Sometimes, we all need a push to try new things and strive for greatness - Squeek is no different.

The beauty of Ms. Green's writing is the simplicity in which the message is delivered.  Never feeling preachy or even remotely coming off as high and mighty, she conveys some basic humanity through her adorable Worrywoo Monsters and their engaging stories.  Monster in the Bubble, like the two previous books in the series, features breathtaking watercolor illustrations that my young girls simply fawn over, the books (and the plush dolls) are certainly easy on the eyes, and text that sounds great read aloud.

What sets this new book apart is the bubble itself, the additional character that is capable of moving the plot in a fascinating direction.  It's the bubble that realizes Squeek's self-imposed limitations and, as a result, it's the bubble that makes the difficult decision that forces Squeek to confront his fears of a new life lived with risk but also one filled with adventure and new experiences.  It's a clever trick - giving life to the bubble - one that pays huge dividends in the heart-tugging department. 

With the holidays coming up, I really cannot recommend The Monster in the Bubble enough for families with kids in the 3-7 age range.  Buy the book and the doll and expose a child to a lovely read and introduce them to an awesome collection of friendly, cute monsters who help make sense of the emotions we sometimes struggle to understand.

*California/Nevada readers take note: WorryWoo author/illustrator Andi Green is doing a series of readings, in numerous cities in those 2 states.  The readings began yesterday (11/6) and continue through November 15th.  Check out her schedule here and then go hear The Monster in the Bubble and pick up a signed 1st edition copy of the book.

"The Monster in the Bubble" was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true - no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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