children’s books about monsters

If your child’s favourite book is Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo, it’s possible that (s)he has a penchant for monster books! And frankly, at a young age, which child wouldn’t? Monsters are fun, fantastical, and tickle a young child’s imagination. But why not use your child’s fondness for monstrous books to give them some life lessons? Here are 8 children’s books about monsters that will delight your children while teaching them a thing or two.

Note: This list is meant for children between the ages of three and six.


Leonardo The Terrible Monster

Mo Willems (Author & Illustrator)

Famous children’s author, Mo Willems, wrote this fun story of Leonardo, a monster who isn’t very good at being a monster! Try as he might, it is impossible for him to scare people because he is small, cute, and cuddly. However, along the way, he befriends Sam, a young nervous boy, and realises that being a good friend is far more important than being a scary monster. Through this book, Willems teaches children that while they may feel they ‘should’ behave in a certain way to conform to their peers, it is far more important to do the right thing.

Buy it here.


Where The Wild Things Are

Maurice Sendak (Author & Illustrator)

Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are is one of the most famous and popular classics for children.Not only is it one of Obama’s favourite children’s books, but it is also an important and must-read book for your child. Max is always up to mischief so his mother calls him a ‘wild thing’ and punishes him by sending him to his room without dinner. Once in his room, Max’s imagination takes him to an island full of other ‘wild’ and animalistic monsters. While initially he enjoys himself on the island and becomes the leader of his monster friends, he soon stops having fun and ‘returns’ to his room to find his dinner waiting for him. This book will teach your children about controlling their anger (read as tantrums) and the value of parental love, amongst other important lessons.

Buy it here.



William Steig

Not many know that Shrek was a book before it was made into a movie, and an amazing one at that! Shrek is a big, ugly, and green ogre with a heart of gold. He is terrifying as an ogre and “could spit a flame of full ninety-nine yards and vent smoke from either ear”. After he is thrown out of his swamp by his parents, he lands up in a room full of mirrors in a castle. Here, he must confront his own ‘repulsiveness’. At the end, however, he realises that he is truly happy with the way he looks and even finds true love. After reading this book, your children will learn that beauty and personality have little to do with each other.

Buy it here.


Scaredy Boo!

Claire Freedman & Russell Julian (Illus.)

Claire Freedman is an excellent children’s author who seems to love writing about monsters! In Scaredy Boo!, Scaredy is a monster living under the bed and is scared of everything- from big things to small things, and from whispers to loud noises. Encouraged by his friend, he learns to talk about and analyse his fears as a way of overcoming them. An added bonus of this book is that it teaches your child words such as ‘worried’, ‘trembled’, etc. and that will help them vocalise their fears to you. If you enjoy this book, we recommend Monsters Love Underpants, from the Underpants series by the same author, for a bit of zany fun!

Buy it here.


The Very Worst Monster

Pat Hutchins (Author & Illustrator)

Tackling the subject of sibling rivalry in a fun and light manner, The Very Worst Monster is a must-read for every child who is struggling with sibling issues. When baby monster Billy is born, his dad declares that Billy is going to be the worst monster in the whole world. But Billy’s older sibling, Hazel, doesn’t take too kindly to this as she wants to be the worst monster in the whole world. While initially the siblings drive each other crazy, as their antics play out, they develop a strong bond and realise that affection for your sibling is more important than competing for whose better.

Buy it here.


Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli

Barbara Jean Hicks & Sue Hendra (Illus.)

Many parents struggle with making their kids eat healthy food and try new things. This book uses cute and colourful monsters very effectively to encourage children to start eating their greens. The monsters in this book would rather eat trucks, steel, and rockets and are averse to trying anything green. But, as the book progresses, they end up trying all sorts of healthy food and loving it. Not only will this book make your child laugh out loud, it will also make them less averse to trying new food.

Buy it here.


Go Away, Big Green Monster!

Ed Emberley

Not all children like monsters; they can be terribly scary for many. Go Away, Big Green Monster! is a great interactive book to help children not only overcome their fear of monsters, but also to teach them how to tackle their fears in general. Using die-cut pages, the child first ‘constructs’ the image of a monster and then ‘takes it apart’, piece by piece. This helps a child realise that they can control their fears, and that once they ‘break it down’, the things they’re scared of are really not that scary, after all.

Buy it here.


Quit Calling Me A Monster

Jory John & Bob Shea (Illus.)

This book is funny and interactive and, at the same time, tackles the people based on how they look. Floyd Peterson, while technically a shaggy-haired, horned, and clawed ‘monster’, is tired of children referring to him as ‘the monster’ and not by his name. His feelings are terribly hurt and he goes and hides in the closet. As the book progresses, he manages to make himself heard and explain to the children why he is hurt. This book is an excellent tool to use when you want to have a conversation with your children about how they should treat people who are ‘different’.

Buy it here.

As a young boy, Nirbhay had the annoying habit of waking up at 5 a.m. Since television was a big no-no, he had no choice but to read to entertain himself and that is how his love affair with books began. A true-blue Piscean, books paved the path to his fantasy worlds- worlds he’d often rather stay in. Nirbhay is the co-founder and publisher of The Curious Reader.

You can read his articles, here.