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How to Catch

How to Catch a Monster

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A USA Today Bestseller!

From the creators of the New York Times bestselling How to Catch a Leprechaun and How to Catch an Elf!

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...

Get ready to laugh as a young ninja heads into the closet to meet the monster that's been so scary night after night! But what if things aren't what they seem and our monster isn't scary at all? What if our ninja hero is about to make a friend of strangest sort?

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!

Is there a monster living in your closet? Are you brave enough to catch him? Parents and children will love sharing this fun and inventive picture book, which reminds us that things aren't always as scary as they seem.

40 pages, Hardcover

First published September 1, 2017

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About the author

Adam Wallace

184 books223 followers
Adam Wallace is a New York Times, USA Today and Amazon Bestselling author of the How to Catch series!
Adam's passion is to bring excitement and energy and humour and joy to children (of all ages!) through his books and videos.
He spends his non-writing time thinking about writing and going to as many live music shows as he can. He's also teaching himself piano, and plays golf too.

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5 stars
211 (27%)
4 stars
247 (31%)
3 stars
250 (32%)
2 stars
51 (6%)
1 star
19 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 124 reviews
Profile Image for Calista.
3,879 reviews31.2k followers
October 20, 2019
This beginning book is perfect for the monster loving kid. It’s not necessarily a Halloween story. It’s more just a monster story - any time of year.

A kid comes home after being a Ninja at school and he goes in his closet to catch his monster and they play. It’s a simple story.

My nephew loved this story. I mean everything about it. He loved the Ninja costume to the monster and his house. He laughed so hard at the toothpaste page and he loved the monster fart, obviously. He was laughing on each page practically. He told me “this is just about the perfect book.” He gave it easily 5 stars.
Profile Image for Schizanthus Nerd.
1,151 reviews241 followers
June 14, 2018
The illustrations are brilliant in How to Catch a Monster, AKA, Confronting Your Fears and Discovering They’re Not as Scary as You Thought. Okay, so I wasn’t consulted during the naming of this book, thank goodness! So, the illustrations. They’re bright, colourful, detailed, kind of quirky and very engaging. I loved them!

The story is told in rhymes. Our main character has secured the role of ninja master in the school play so they’re feeling brave. Dressed in full ninja garb and with a backpack filled to the brim with tricks and traps, hero ninja kid (whose gender is never identified and I love this!) sets off to confront their monster. Yep, it’s a literal monster that hides in their closet.

Instead of finding something that belongs in your nightmares, hero ninja kid not only overcomes their fear but makes a new friend. Aww! There’s even some fart humour with a surprise as our monster’s farts smell like .

My favourite element was the wind up shark that came out of the backpack of tricks but this is me we’re talking about. It was always going to be the shark. 🦈 😊
Profile Image for Sharon Tyler.
2,718 reviews30 followers
August 11, 2017
How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace is a picturebook currently scheduled for release on September 1 2017. The book is about a young boy emboldened by his karate class and ready to face the monster in his closet. He plans on trapping and scaring the monster that has scared him so many times. However, once he succeeds he discovers that the monster's intentions are not what he expected.

How to Catch a Monster is a book that encourages young readers to face their fears head on, and shows them that things they do not understand might be scary, but are not always worthy of fear. Once our character captures his monster he discovers that the monster just wanted a friend- and it is hard to play with someone who is asleep. So, all the scary wake ups were simply attempts to be friends. Once he gets to know the monster, and his family, he is no longer afraid and has a new friend. I think this is valuable lesson both in learning about the unknown and facing fears. Taking the time to understand things that scare you often makes them less scary, and sometimes valuable friends of resources. The artwork is fun and bright, but not quite as polished as I would like. However, it is still a wonderful book.
Profile Image for Amy.
460 reviews14 followers
November 8, 2017
When a little boy lands the role of ninja master in the school play, he knows he has finally become the hero that will take care of the monster in his closet. With his backpack full of traps and nets he pulls out all the stops, but this big scary monster is more than meets the eye. Yet, this little ninja wont give up, and when he finally captures the monster he learns that everything might not be as scary as he thought.

How to Catch A Monster is the perfect read for any little one who might just have their own monster hidden safely within their closet, or even under the bed. With bright explosions of color and engaging illustrations, young readers cant help but stand up and cheer for this little ninja, while also feeling inspired to tackle their own fears.

*You can find the rest of my reviews and giveaways in my weekly newspaper column: For the Love of Books-Dixon's Independent Voice
Profile Image for Stephanie  Weatherly.
345 reviews8 followers
October 24, 2017
I was a little worried when I first started reading this book to my littles, as it talks about a monster into the closet at bedtime. I was pleasantly surprised to continue reading and find out that the monster just wants to play with the little boy. My kids loved this book and the illustrations are great!
Profile Image for Marissa Estrada.
49 reviews
October 13, 2017
I do believe that it is the person who read the book that sets its setting behind it. I enjoyed listening to this book being read. Ii though it was adorable and funny. Great pictures!
Profile Image for Erin.
384 reviews
October 3, 2017
What do you do when you get the role of a ninja in the school play? Become one of course! And not just any ninja; a monster catching ninja! With the courage to trap the monster hiding in his closet, the ninja-monster-catcher meets his match. After breaking the first few traps, ninja finally catches his monster and learns that his monster isn’t trying to scare him; he just wants to play. As ninja and monster play, and learn about one another, a friendship between them blooms. Wallace uses rhyme throughout (although not all pages rhyme), and Elkerton’s illustrations make the monster-in-the-closet come alive as a cuddly friend. This is a wonderful book to teach about friendship and how differences can be overcome.
Profile Image for ☘Tara Sheehan☘.
580 reviews19 followers
August 26, 2017
Bright, beautiful illustrations accompany a rhythmic story that will surely capture the attention of your child looking for inspiration to stand up to the monster in their closet.

My daughters laughed a great deal especially at the monster passing gas which smells like strawberry and lime.

I was glad they enjoyed the fun pictures and the even funnier story but as a parent what I enjoyed was the theme woven in that teaches them to stand up to their fears because what they are afraid of might not be that scary after all. It’s a wonderful story to read at night to help them find sweet dreams and feel safely tucked into bed.
Profile Image for Sharon Coffey.
55 reviews2 followers
November 13, 2018
A boy is given a Ninja role in the school play. He decides (in true Ninja fashion) he's done being scared by Monster who hides in his closet. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun! The boy uses weapons sure to send Monster packing such as a wind-up shark, silly string and (piece de resistance) a remote-controlled Ninja Bot with candy bait.

Monster isn't anything like what the boy thought. Read what happens when Monster invites the boy to his home to meet his monster family. This is not only about facing fears; it’s about conquering them too.

The illustrations emphasize the high-energy tone of this story with vibrant colored backgrounds that compliment the bright neon green Monster.
Profile Image for Dorine White.
Author 8 books110 followers
October 23, 2017
This is an absolutely adorable book. It has big, bold colors, kid friendly art, and a young boy who has just gotten the lead in his school play. To practice his part of Ninja Master, our young man decides he must fight the monster in his closet to become a true hero. He has a bag full of awesome tricks, a wind-up shark, silly string, and more. However, this scary, somewhat silly monster proves tricky and our ninja hero learns about friendship instead. Loved it! 5 stars.
Profile Image for Jane.
531 reviews50 followers
October 2, 2017
I felt both the art and story were just okay. One aspect I did like was that the main character was not gendered. I thought that was a very interesting choice for a book that doesn't otherwise have a strong narrative or message.
Profile Image for Sharon.
425 reviews20 followers
May 24, 2018
Another quick book read with May at the library. She totally enjoyed it! I love books where girls overcome their fears & are their own hero. The art was great! the monster Kinda reminded me of Sully in Monsters Inc.
Profile Image for Sheila.
2,827 reviews44 followers
September 29, 2017
Cute story of a ninja going up against the monster in his bedroom. Enjoyable. The ninja angle makes it stand out from similarly title books. Fun!
5,870 reviews130 followers
October 18, 2019
How to Catch a Monster is a children's picture book written by Adam Wallace and illustrated by Andy Elkerton. When a kid gets the part of the ninja master in the school play, it finally seems to be the right time to tackle the closet monster.

Wallace's text is simplistic, straightforward, and lyrical. The simple poetic beat has a kid trying to capture a monster living in a closet. The verses are written somewhat well as there are some places where the beat is slightly off. Elkerton's bright illustrations have a TV-cartoon aesthetic, and his playful beast is never scary. The narrator is depicted with black eyes and hair and pale skin.

The premise of the book is rather straightforward. The monster is a large, fluffy poison-green beast with blue hands and feet and face and a fluffy blue-and-green–striped tail. The kid employs a bag of tricks to try to catch the monster. The monster is eventually caught, but with an unexpected result: the monster looks sad. Turns out he was only scaring the boy to wake him up so they could be friends.

All in all, How to Catch a Monster is a wonderfully humorous children's book about how to catch the monster in the closet – if one decides to do so.
Profile Image for Krissquared.
232 reviews
July 12, 2021
My 6y/o is starting to read this on his own (with some help) and just loves the burps and lava pie. It definitely speaks to child humor and has a good rhyming scheme to help them along. The art is adorable and my son really loves the spread that looks more comic book like. He picks this up every few days out of his own interest to read.
Profile Image for Lisa McKenzie.
202 reviews
October 27, 2020
Kid Reviews:
3yo: I heart dis.
5yo: this one is good you should read it it's about a boy trying to scare a monster.
7yo: I do not like monster only when they are mean and vicious, but not like good monsters that do weird stuff and name pies so I give it a one.
9yo: Is there a monster in your closet? There is one in the boy's and he is bothering him. So read this book to see how he takes care of him.
Profile Image for Darinda.
8,169 reviews145 followers
September 30, 2019
A young ninja heads is ready to catch the monster in his closet. He learns the monster isn't as scary as he thought. A silly and fun rhyming picture book. A cute bedtime story.
Profile Image for Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*.
6,001 reviews185 followers
December 5, 2017
Wallace, Adam How to Catch a Monster. PICTURE BOOK. Illustrated by Andy Elkerton. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2017. $11. 9781492648949

A young boy has just been cast as a ninja in his school play, which gives him the courage to capture the monster in his closet. When he captures the monster, however, he finds out that his new friend is much different than he expected.

For a child who is afraid of monsters in their closet or under their bed, besides watching Monster, Inc. every night, this is a cute way to get them to talk about their fears. The rhyming text flows well and the bright illustrations are giggle-inducing, especially when the monster does something VERY unexpected.

Pre-K, EL (K-3) – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher
Profile Image for Michelle (FabBookReviews).
1,052 reviews36 followers
October 29, 2017

A goofy and totally fun rhyming picture book, Adam Wallace and Andy Elkerton's How to Catch a Monster is their Halloween offering in their popular 'How to Catch...' series. In How to Catch a Monster, a young child who recently got the role of a ninja master in a school play, decides to come face to face with the monster in their closet. Feeling "brave and strong, and full of courage, too", our young ninja faces down a fuzzy green and blue monster, while discovering some very surprising facts about the possibly not-so-scary (maybe even sweet and fun!) monster!

I received a copy of this title courtesy of Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.
77 reviews
September 15, 2017
This is a fun story about a young boy who discovers a monster living in his closet and then decides to go all ninja master to scare it away. But once he sets to his plan, he discovers an unexpected surprise, and actually makes friends with his former nemesis. I liked the theme that we can make friends out of assumed enemies if we put away our prejudices and meet the real being.
81 reviews1 follower
October 9, 2017
This is a very fun rhyming book. The illustrations are clear, colorful, and fun. It is about facing your fears and finding out things aren't always what you think. It is also about making friends with people/things that are different than you.
43 reviews
October 13, 2017
this is one of the favorite books we have read in class so far. Seeing the ninja go up against the monster, when all the monster wants to do is play. However the monster can only play when the ninja is sleep.
60 reviews
October 16, 2017
I loved reading this book, it had such a unique way of looking at the monsters in your closet. The illustrations were very bright and colorful. And I can't ever resist a story with some good rhymes in it, which this book is filled with.
Profile Image for Jenny.
2,719 reviews25 followers
November 6, 2017
Fun story to read at Halloween (or if your children are scared of monsters under their bed/in their closet). The illustrations are especially fun as the young child catches a monster, and then proceeds to develop a friendship with the monster.
November 26, 2017
Overall, I enjoyed reading this children's book. It was adorable and funny. I was happy to see that the monster only wanted to play with the child after all. This may show kids having trouble sleeping at night, that monsters do not exist, or if they believe they do, they are not scary.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 124 reviews

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