The friendliest monsters you ever saw inhabit the pages of this lively picture book, a story that simultaneously teaches young children how to be fine, upstanding people and offers numerous examples of the Yiddish word mensch—in the language of the book, an “honorable” and “kind” person.
While each monster portrays a characteristic of a mensch, the author reminds children that being one isn’t always easy; it can be quite a challenge on many occasions to do the right thing, but when you do it, you “feel ten feet tall.” Children will identify with these thoughtful, colorful creatures who are each different, some with bright colors, each with various numbers of eyes and heads, but all working hard at being good and helpful. They share with others, respect their parents and teachers, sneeze into elbows or tissues, and help their families prepare for Shabbat.
This cheery book features joy, courtesy, and care for others in a fun and lighthearted way. It can be used by parents and teachers to support social skills without presenting even a hint of didactic or heavy teaching.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.