When you think about monsters, do you picture cute, silly creatures? Or do scary, creepy monsters come to mind? Many kids have a fear of a monster under their bed or in the closet at some point. Books are a great way to help kids work through this fear in a safe way. Keep reading to discover our favorite monster books.
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Monster Books for Kids
How to Catch a Monster
by Adam Wallace
There’s a monster in my closet,
with claws, and teeth, and hair,
and tonight, I’m going to scare him!
He lives just right through there…
If you dare to travel beyond the closet door and into the land of the monsters… you might just find the very best reward of all. But with robots, lava pie, and a smattering of traps-catching monsters is no easy business!
The Monster Trap
by Dean Morrissey
When Paddy goes on an overnight visit to his grandfather’s, he thinks his grandfather’s house is bigger and darker and spookier than he remembered. When things start to go bump in the night, Paddy is sure that he’s hearing monsters. So Pop does what any grandfather would do — he builds a monster trap.
The next night, the monster trap is set, baited with a delicious (to a monster) snack that Pop assures Paddy no monster will be able to resist. Paddy waits for a sign that the trap has snared a monster, but he soon discovers that the trap doesn’t work in quite the way that Pop imagined.
by Julia Cook
Is the Tease Monster a friend or a foe?
That’s what One of a Kind has to figure out in this quirky tale.
One of a Kind has big feet and loves eating popsicles while standing upside down. He doesn’t understand the difference between friendly teasing and mean teasing. When Purple laughs at One for being weird he feels rotten. And when Plaid called One a brainiac for getting an A+ on his math test he doesn’t know what to say.
With help, he learns that teasing is part of life and that laughing at someone is mean teasing or bullying and can have a hurtful bite, but laughing with someone is alright when it’s not done out of spite!
I Need My Monster
by Amanda Noll
One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: “Gone fishing. Back in a week.” Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares he doesn’t stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they’ve got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn’t enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily. Click here to find a directed drawing and other activities to pair with this book.
Hey, That’s My Monster!
by Amanda Noll
When Ethan looks under the bed for his monster, he finds this note instead: “So long, kid. Gotta go. Someone needs me more than you do. –Gabe” How will Ethan ever get to sleep without his monster’s familiar, comforting snorts? And who could need Gabe more than Ethan does? Gabe must have gone to Ethan’s little sister’s room! She has been climbing out of bed every night to play, and obviously needs a monster to help her get to sleep – but not HIS monster! Ethan tries to help his sister find her own monster, but none are the perfect blend of cute and creepy. Just when it seems that Ethan will lose his monster forever, an uninvited, tutu-toting little monster full of frightening fun appears. Click here to find a monster under the bed craft and other activities to pair with this book.
How I Met My Monster
by Amanda Noll
One night, when Ethan reaches under his bed for a toy truck, he finds this note instead: “Monsters! Meet here for final test.” Ethan is sure his parents are trying to trick him into staying under the covers, until he sees five colorful sets of eyes blinking at him from beneath the bed. Soon, a colorful parade of quirky, squeaky little monsters compete to become Ethan’s monster. But only the little green monster, Gabe, has the perfect blend of stomach-rumbling and snorting needed to get Ethan into bed and keep him there so he falls asleep—which as everyone knows, is the real reason for monsters under beds. Click here to find a build-a-monster craft and other activities to pair with this book.
Quit Calling Me a Monster!
by Jory John
Floyd Peterson is sick and tired of being called a monster. “Just because I have horns. And wild eyes. And clompy feet. And long toenails. And crazy hair. And fangs. And a huge, toothy smile that glows in the dark.” That doesn’t mean that he’s a monster. Children really hurt his feelings when they scream and run when he is grocery shopping or simply trying to sleep under a bed. He thinks it’s time everyone learned some manners and called him by his real name, Floyd Peterson. Luckily, by the end of the text, Floyd has finally made himself heard while hiding in a closet.
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
by Mo Willems
Leonardo is truly a terrible monster-terrible at being a monster that is. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn’t quite as satisfying as he thought it would be. Leonardo realizes that he might be a terrible, awful monster-but he could be a really good friend.
by Samantha Berger
BEWARE OF CRANKENSTEIN! He’s a little monster of crankiness that no one can destroy! MEHHRRRR!!! He may look like any ordinary boy, but when faced with a rainy day, a melting popsicle, or an early bedtime, one little boy transforms into a mumbling, grumbling Crankenstein. When Crankenstein meets his match in a fellow Crankenstein, the results could be catastrophic–or they could be just what he needs to brighten his day! Click here to grab a Crankenstein craft and some other activities to pair with this book.
Go Away, Big Green Monster!
by Ed Emberley
As kids turn the die-cut pages of this vibrantly illustrated book, they’ll watch the Big Green Monster grow before their very eyes. Then, when they’re ready to show him who’s in charge, they’ll turn the remaining pages and watch him disappear!
by David Catrow
The Monster Mash gets Wolf Man, zombies, and other monsters to dance and party in this catchy, classic song. Dracula rises out of his coffin, vampires feast in the master bedroom, and the ghouls get a jolt from Boris’s electrodes.
by Anne Miranda
One little monster waits for the first birthday guest to arrive. . . . There’s a knock on the door, and now there are two! Now three! Now four! The guests keep arriving until fifty partying monsters wreak havoc and Monster Mom decides that enough is enough. The partygoers reluctantly depart until just that one little monster remains—after the best birthday party ever.
The Monster Who Lost His Mean
by Tifanny Stelitz-Haber
Everyone knows that the M in “monster” stands for MEAN. But what happens when a monster can’t be mean any more? Is he still a monster at all?
One young monster’s attempts to live up to his name go hilariously awry as he discovers―with a little help from new friends―that it’s not what you’re called but who you are that counts.
by Quentin Hoban
John spends most of his time drawing monsters of all shapes, sizes and colors, and his parents are worried. When their son begins devoting himself to a master project–drawing parts of a serious monster on big sheets of brown wrapping paper–Mom and Dad pay a visit to John’s teacher. He seems to think that there’s no cause for concern. Unappeased, the couple then consults a doctor, who wants to have a little chat with John. The doctor makes the mistake of providing the boy with more wrapping paper and markers so that he can finish his masterpiece. It soon becomes clear that John’s passion for drawing has grown to monstrous proportions and that his parents’ fears were justified.
Monsters Love School
by Mike Austin
Summer is over, and now it’s time for the biggest adventure of all…Monster School! Join these colorful monsters as they go to school for the first time. Reading and writing and learning your monster history has never been so much fun!
No Such Thing
by Jackie French Koller
There is no such thing as a monster, and certainly no such thing as a monster under the bed. That’s what Howard’s mother tells him. There is no such thing as a boy, and certainly no such thing as a boy on top of a bed. That’s what Monster’s mother tells him. But no matter what their mothers say, Howard and Monster remain afraid of the dark. Then one spooky night Howard and Monster come face-to-face with each other.
If You’re a Monster and You Know It
by Rebecca and Ed Emberley
Children will stomp their paws, twitch their tails, snort and growl, and wiggle and wriggle along with this bright and bold picture book twist on “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
by Lane Fredrickson
Nothing frightens Winifred Schnitzel—but she DOES need her sleep, and the neighborhood monsters WON’T let her be! Every night they sneak in, growling and belching and making a ruckus. Winifred constructs clever traps, but nothing stops these crafty creatures. What’s a girl to do?
by Rachel Bright
Love Monster is a slightly hairy monster trying to fit in with the cuddly residents of Cutesville. But as it turns out, it’s hard to fit in with the cute and the fluffy when you’re a googly-eyed monster. And so, Love Monster sets out to find someone who will love him just the way he is. His journey is not easy―he looks high, low, and even middle-ish. But as he soon finds out, in the blink of a googly eye, love can find you when you least expect it. Click here to find an adorable craft to pair with this book.
by Michael Rex
Pete couldn’t be more thrilled when a monster shows up in his bedroom. Now Pete has someone to play with! And the hungry monster couldn’t be more thrilled to be there, either. Now he can . . . EAT PETE!
But Pete has other ideas. And they are all good fun and quite distracting–things like playing cars and pirates. Well, we all know the course of playing together nicely never did run smoothly. So how much longer will the monster have to wait before he can . . . EAT PETE?
If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed
by Denise Vega
If you have a monster that won’t go to bed, don’t bother asking your parents to help. They know a lot about putting kids to bed, but nothing about putting monsters to bed. It’s not their fault; they’re just not good at it. Read this book instead.
It will tell you what to feed your monster before bed (it’s not warm milk), and what to sing to your monster (it’s not a soothing lullaby), and what to read to your monster to send him off to dreamland in no time (the scarier, the better).
Just make sure you don’t get too good at putting monsters to bed—or you might have a BIG problem on your hands!
Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak
When Max dresses in his wolf suit and causes havoc in the house, his mother sends him to bed. From there, Max sets sail to an island inhabited by the Wild Things, who name him king and share a wild rumpus with him. But then from far away across the world, Max smells good things to eat…
by Julia Donaldson
A mouse is taking a stroll through the deep, dark wood when along comes a hungry fox, then an owl, and then a snake. The mouse is good enough to eat but smart enough to know this, so he invents . . . the gruffalo! As Mouse explains, the gruffalo is a creature with terrible claws, and terrible tusks in its terrible jaws, and knobbly knees and turned-out toes, and a poisonous wart at the end of its nose. But Mouse has no worry to show. After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo. . . .
If you really want to make monsters feel more lovable and friendly than scary, check out these monster friends. They are soft and will really bring these monster books to life (in a good way)! Here are a few of our favorites:
Here are some ways you can put those stuffed animals to good use in the classroom. Need a few resources to pair with your favorite monster books or monster unit? Check these out!
Monster Book Companion Bundle
Monster Measurement Madness
Do you have a favorite monster book that didn’t make the list? I’d love to check it out!