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The Monster in My Basement

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There's a monster in Dave's basement! His name is Howard and he's very hungry. Howard invites Dave to dinner. But will Dave eat dinner or BE dinner? The thought makes Dave shake a little bit, shake a little bit, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. Has Dave made a big mistake?

40 pages, Hardcover

Published September 1, 2020

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About the author

Whenever Dave Preston enters a school or a childcare center to sing his songs, you're likely to hear a swelling chorus of, "Mr. Dave is here! Mr. Dave is here!" This singer-songwriter from Upstate New York has been delighting children of all ages with his original songs like Papa's Car, The Lobster Dance, Munchkin Express and The Boo Boo Song for many years. "The Monster in My Basement" is based on one of Dave's original songs.

Dave lives in Brockport, New York, with his wife, Debbie. They have three children and four grandchildren. Howard still visits on Tuesdays and Thursdays!

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5 stars
24 (54%)
4 stars
15 (34%)
3 stars
5 (11%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for Tina.
2,389 reviews1 follower
July 3, 2021
This is a children's book that me and my 10 year old daughter read to my 6 year old twin boys. The pictures in this book was so cute, and I loved them so much. This was a cute and fun story that all my kids really enjoyed reading/listening to. My boys laughed so hard during parts of this story. This is a silly book, but has a great message about not judging people/monsters just by what they look like. I feel how the world is right now this is a super important message. I have really been loving reading to my kids lately, and I am glad I have found some new favorites. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (CrissCross AppleSauce) or author (Dave Preston) via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review about how I feel about this book, and I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.
Profile Image for Francisca.
183 reviews83 followers
April 7, 2021
As it happens sometimes, Dave goes to the basement of his house. Where, as it almost never happens, he discovers a monster.

Dave’s a kind child. The monster looks sad. Dave asks the monster, why?

It’s simply. The monster is hungry. That’s a problem easy to solve, except… Dave doesn’t know what monsters like to eat. Worse, is it possible this monster may want to eat him?

A lovely book, perfect for young children. Five year-olds and around would appreciated the best, I think. Younger children may get a bit anxious about the opening pages. Older children may not get spooked at all, which is a bit part of the charm of this book.

The spook factor is low, mostly because the illustrations are just tons of fun and the monster, with its fluffy coat and long unicorn-like horn, is just too cute to scare anyone. And, also very important, there’s a happy ending. A very happy one. However, Dave’s initial fear about the monster intentions when it takes him into his cave is enough to create some suspense of the kind young children love.

I found this book entertaining and clever. My younger nephew agrees with me.

I received a copy from this book from NetGalley.
Profile Image for Whispering Stories.
2,601 reviews2,552 followers
October 13, 2020
Book Reviewed on www.whisperingstories.com

Whilst playing little Dave comes across a monster in his basement that looks all sad and lonely. Dave asks the monster what is wrong and he tells him that he is hungry and would like a bite to eat.

Dave wonders what kind of food the monster would like. He then has a thought that the monster might like to eat him. He tries to back away but the monster grabs his hand and tells him he is taking him to his cave. Dave is scared. Is the monster really going to eat him?

The Monster in my Basement is a short, fun picture book perfect for children at this time of year. It has bright, colourful, full-page illustrations that are so adorable, and whilst this is a book about a little boy and a monster, children won’t be scared by how he looks with his red fluffy skin and zebra horns.

The story is very sweet and even comes with music at the end that can be played or just sung. Plus, there is a QR code in which children (via an adult) can listen to the song and dance along.

Overall, this is a cute book that has a happy ending so you don’t need to worry about your children being scared. I get that this is a work of fiction and a bit of fun but it might be a good idea to explain to children when you read the book that they should never go off with a stranger – even a monster stranger!! just like Dave does.
Profile Image for M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews.
4,030 reviews329 followers
October 7, 2020
Haha, what a silly book! The illustrations were pretty nice, and I enjoyed how some of the words were shown in color instead of regular black. The underlying message to me seems to not simply judge people by their outward appearance, which certainly is a good message to keep in mind, and this is the message that would seem most apparent to the children who read it.

One thing I must say as an adult (and this is NOT meant to be a detraction of the authors or anything like that!) is that from an adult POV, this might imply to children to be more cavalier around strangers, as in one part of the book, the boy simply accepts the monster's invitation to leave with him for dinner. Which, again, as an adult and aware of 'stranger danger', leaves me a bit worried. I would say to parents who want to buy this book, it's still a fun book to read, but it's important to discuss with your kids that you can still be kind to people who look different or the like, but make sure they're aware of stranger danger and all that.

All in all, 4/5 stars for a fun and colorful children's book.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,166 reviews2,239 followers
November 29, 2020
I freaking love this cute storybook!

Everything is well-balanced. A good story which tells children to be not terrified of monsters.

Throughout the read, I was a bit apprehensive too like the main character as if waiting for the monster and his mom to pounce on him... like it would happen anytime!

I love how it ended. I love the illustrations.

The font size and everything else was just perfect.

Thank you Publisher and the Author for the book.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,166 reviews2,239 followers
November 29, 2020
I freaking love this cute storybook!

Everything is well-balanced. A good story which tells children to be not terrified of monsters.

Throughout the read, I was a bit apprehensive too like the main character as if waiting for the monster and his mom to pounce on him... like it would happen anytime!

I love how it ended. I love the illustrations.

The font size and everything else was just perfect.

Thank you Publisher and the Author for the book.
Profile Image for Alicia Bayer.
Author 7 books187 followers
October 11, 2020
This is a cute book with a fun little recurring rhyme that kids will enjoy, though it has some problematic areas. A boy finds a monster in his basement who scares him, yet he willingly leaves his house and goes with the monster, all the while worrying that the monster might eat him. He then goes into the monster's house and lets the monster's mother feed him dinner, even though he's concerned that he might be meant to be their dinner. The idea of a child just going along with anything that complete strangers tell him to do in order be polite is an idea that we thankfully have abandoned in most modern children's stories. While the art is cute and the child is not eaten in the end, it still seems like a book that at the very least deserves a good discussion afterwards.

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book for review.
Profile Image for Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit).
1,814 reviews88 followers
November 23, 2020
We received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

A little boy named Dave finds a monster in his basement! When the monster invites Dave along for dinner, he isn't quite sure what to do! When he ends up in the monster's cave, he wonders if he's made a BIG mistake!

This is a fun picture book about hungry monsters that can be read by itself...
this book is also a song!

The song and the story behind The Monster In My Basement can be found on howardthemonster.com!

While this picture book can be read easily without listening to the song, it really does make it a lot more fun and interactive!
The repeating chorus bit is a lot of fun and the story has colorful and descriptive text to go along with the illustrations!

This review was originally shared on Lazy Day Literature.
Profile Image for Alison.
321 reviews57 followers
November 13, 2020
The cutest, funniest book. The "shake a little bit" refrain absolutely *always* gets my students laughing, and the voices of both little Dave and Howard the Monster are funny, warm, and so relatable for kids. I'm a creative writing teacher, and while I do read this book to very young students, I mainly use it as a model with elementary students for how to begin thinking about writing and illustrating their own picture books--it's that good! In terms of classroom use, in a world so presently frightening and full of real monsters, these messages of "things are not always what they seem" and "friends can be found in unlikely places" have sparked some really good talks for me. I love this book so very much.

P.S. The author is my father-in-law, he paid me millions for this review. Just kidding, but, truly, this is a big-hearted, magical book, it's just a bonus that I know the guy who wrote it.
Profile Image for Debbie.
823 reviews12 followers
October 20, 2020
Oh my goodness. This is a book that’s impossible not to love. And since I have several elementary teachers in my family I can imagine this being read and then sung in classrooms.

I liked it before I listened to the song sung by children’s musician Dave Preston, but after hearing the catchy tune I love it. And as you can see, the illustrations by Heather Lynn Harris are adorable. I can imagine these pages being flipped through while singing.

And the monster . . . really, not so scary after all. Okay, I guess that is debatable. But he won’t always give that appearance. Many times attitudes can change when we get to really know . . .even the oddest of us.

I highly recommend this fun book and song to everyone. Music teachers, classroom teachers, parents, and caregivers, this is a book to pick up for you little ones.

I found only one itty bitty concern that can be taken care of easily. When the “monster” asks the boy to come with him, the boy does end up following. He mentions

"I tried to answer, 'No, sir,' but I found it hard to talk.

So he grabbed my hand and we began to walk."

Okay, we all know leaving home with a monster is probably not a great idea. Folks, this is a storybook. It can easily be mentioned that it’s a song and a silly story. Not real. No one should allow themselves to be lead from home by a monster or any other creature.

So, in my way of thinking, this is a concern barely worth mentioning.

What I Liked
Everything! This fun little book even comes with piano music (melody) at the back. And in case you missed the link earlier, I’m including it again.

My thanks to City of Light Publishing for a copy of this book and the ability to post my opinion of it.
Profile Image for Regina Tijerina.
28 reviews1 follower
March 1, 2021
A young boy named Dave goes down in his basement to play. But a monster named Howard makes for a hungry surprise. A scary first meeting ends with a breath of fresh air.

The genre of Folk Literature is defined by many sub-genres, and a fable being one! The Monster in My Basement is a prime example of just that. According to Children's Literature, Briefly (pg. 138) "Fables are brief stories meant to teach a lesson, and they usually conclude with a moral." After reading this text you can make the connection that it would be categorized as a fable, because it is an example of the moral "Never judge a book by it's cover." You may also connect this book to the genre fantasy. An example of fantasy is Howard the talking monster who is not defined by natural laws of the known world. Having multiple genres (or sub-genres) in a book is a perfect way to introduce variety inside of the classroom!

The intended audience for this book would be kindergarten-2nd grade. For kindergarten and 1st grade this reading would be great to use in a read aloud, the students will be engaged with the book being read by the teacher because of the emotions and intensity of the reading. As for 2nd graders, this book could be used during independent reading time or even for a mini literature circle activity. This book is an interesting read for younger children/students it will have them intrigued and surprised. Overall, a great reading and moral to the story!
Profile Image for Sara.
240 reviews28 followers
October 12, 2020
Title: The Monster in My Basement
Author: Dave Preston
Illustrator: Heather Lynn Harris
Publication Date: 1 September 2020
Publisher: Independent Publishers Group CrissCross AppleSauce
Rating: 4/5
Advanced Reader Copy provided by CrissCross AppleSauce via Netgalley

This book is about a boy named Dave who finds a monster in his basement. The monster is hungry but Dave can’t find any food that he thinks the monster will like so the monster takes Dave to his house to eat. Dave is scared that the monster, Howard, is going to eat him but he ends up being safe and just eats dinner with Howard and his mom.
The cover of this book is one of my favorite parts, it's very attention-grabbing and I think kids would find it intriguing. I also LOVED that there was a song included in the back of the book with a link to hear it, kids would love singing along.
One thing I noticed that some people won’t like is how Dave left his house even though he was scared of the monster just because he didn’t want to be rude. Obviously, this isn’t a message we want to send to children, to go with someone when you don’t know them and are scared of them, but I think discussing it afterward would be perfectly sufficient.
Profile Image for SheReads.
655 reviews91 followers
February 2, 2021
Reviewed for YA Books Central

What a wonderful and fun book.
The Monster In My Basement is about a young boy who finds a monster and is convinced the monster wants to eat him for dinner. Yet, he befriends him anyway and is constantly wondering if he made a big mistake. As the monster talks about being hungry and invited the boy home for dinner, the boy can't shake the thought something bad was going to happen.
This is the type of book I love as an aunt because it's fun to read over and over again. My three-year-old nephew absolutely loved the colorful images of the monster. The story is written with an almost lyrical quality that makes it pleasant to both speak and hear. The best parts are the repetitive sections. As the boy said he started to "shake, shake, shake a little bit" so did my nephew.
This is a book that will go on the favorites shelf and is perfect for the young ones who are just finding their love of reading.

Final Verdict: Beautifully written and illustrated, The Monster In My Basement is a must have for anyone with the opportunity of sharing a love of reading with young kids.
Profile Image for Gayle Swift.
Author 2 books13 followers
September 21, 2020
Charming, delightful, and joyous! I shared this entertaining book with my five-year-old grandson. He’s a hard nut to crack when it comes to books. He’d much prefer to be in motion or reading about anything that moves, He found The Monster in My Basement engaging and enjoyable.
I found it a hoot with the added benefit of some valuable messages: be kind, help out at home, don’t pre-judge things, and choose to be brave. Harriss’s imaginative illustrations explode with color that reflects the romping energy of the story. David’s music drew my little one in so that we shared a fun and worthwhile read together. The repeating refrain enhanced the suspense and increased our engagement in the story. My little one could easily empathize with the hero’s fear of becoming the main entrée for the monster family. The “surprise” ending satisfied and pleased him.

I highly recommend this book and sincerely hope this duo creates more books. The publisher provided me a review copy. — Gayle H. Swift, author of ABC, Adoption & Me and We’re Adopted, So What?
Profile Image for Stacie.
1,419 reviews94 followers
October 14, 2020
A young boy named Dave hears a groan coming from his basement so he goes to investigate. To his surprise, he finds a large, red, furry, and hungry monster. Dave thinks for a bit about what a monster might want to eat and wonders if maybe he would want to eat him. But, thankfully, this monster is also very friendly. His name is Howard and he offers to take Dave to his cave. There, Dave meets the monster’s mom and when she says it’s time to eat, he wonders again if he made a big mistake.

The story is written with a rhyming scheme and kids will love the repetitive feature of the shake, shake, shake on the pages. The illustrations are vivid and adorable with such great expressions on the faces of the monsters and on Dave.

This story offers an opportunity to chat about judging others before we get to know them and being willing to make new friends. The best part is there is a song at the end, titled “Howard” and kids will enjoy singing along. This book is perfect for a classroom read-aloud or a storytime feature at a library.
Profile Image for Angie.
2,849 reviews11 followers
October 30, 2020
My Review: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The following is my honest review and opinion. I was so excited to read this book, basements are such scary things for little ones (and lets be honest some big people too). This is a perfect read around Halloween when everything seems scary especially strange noises (like the heat kicking on for the first time in a while) and the darkness of fall. While this book does seem rather scary and spooky, have no fear, it really isn't like that at all. The illustrations are bold and pretty bright and honestly awfully cute for a monster book. It has a great message about making assumptions on what you see and hear about other . . . creatures. Kids will love the ending of this book and it will leave you all on a high note, no fear about nightmares or monsters in the basement. On an added note, this book has the extra benefit of having a song that goes with it that will get the little ones up an moving too!
Profile Image for Emily Decker.
35 reviews22 followers
December 2, 2020
Super cute book about a boy who finds a monster in his basement and the monster is hungry and would like to take the boy to dinner. Dave, the boy goes along with Howard, the monster to Howard's cave. Along the way they pick up some supplies, causing Dave to wonder if this was a good idea after all. What will happen to Dave? Will he be monster food, or something else? Read this adorable book and find out what happens to Dave and his new "friend." (Here's a hint: it's a happy ending.) Filled with colorful illustrations and a fun story, you and your children will love this book. Perfect for early elementary school ages. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for Selena.
463 reviews
March 3, 2021
The Monster in My Basement is a cute book that reminds me of The Monster at the End of This Book with Grover in Sesame Street. As a parent of Sesame Street kids, that is a high recommendation. The ending is different, but the feels are very similar. I kept wondering what was going to happen and was happily surprised by the ending. I even laughed out loud and surprised my listening audience!

I highly recommend this book to younger students, K- possibly 2nd grade. It seems predictable but there are a few surprises thrown in to keep the reader, (and listeners), on the edge of the seat!

I easily give this book five stars!

I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Rebecca Hill.
Author 1 book42 followers
July 23, 2021
David discovers a monster in his basement. The monster is hungry, and David is a little concerned that he might become the snack of the monster. As he helps the monster head home, at the monsters request, he begins to wonder if he was being smart at going off with the monster.
When they get to the monsters house, the monster's mother says dinner will be served soon. This makes David wonder if he is going to be the dinner.
Imagine his surprise when something else shows up!

This was a sweet little story, and I enjoyed it. I loved the friendship aspect, even though David was afraid that he might end up being the monster's snack.
1 review
November 27, 2020
This story, and its accompanying song, is delightful! My grandchildren ages 1 - 9 still ask me to read it to them even though they have heard it dozens of times. They join in on the chorus and shake it up with their bodies while we read. There is just enough suspense that it keeps children engaged the entire time, but is not too scary. The story is a great avenue for having discussions with children about making assumptions about others and the importance of communicating your feelings. Makes a wonderful gift!
Profile Image for Lindsey Lewis.
746 reviews13 followers
February 26, 2021
A child finds a monster in the basement and thinks he's going to be eaten. This book is about not making judgements at first sight, not jumping to conclusions, and the power of friendship (and pizza!) There is a song that goes along with the rhymes and I found listening to that made the rhymes easier to understand.

Note: I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other fashion for the review and the opinions reflected below are entirely my own. Special thanks to the publisher and author for providing the copy.
Profile Image for Denise Forrest.
395 reviews4 followers
October 17, 2020
A lovely story about a boy who discovers a monster in his house and agrees to go home for tea with the monster, however he cannot help wondering if what they will be eating is him!

A lovely, fun, rhyming story for sharing with young children. The author has written a song on the same theme which is printed in the back of the book.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
November 18, 2020
Dave Preston's wonderful song is now a delightful book.
The Monster in My Basement is a must read every time the grandkids come to visit...even though they have copies at their own houses. We just love to "shake a little bit. Shake, shake,shake,shake,shake!"
This is an excellent book to use in discussing fears and making mistakes with young children.
1 review
November 21, 2020
Our family LOVES this book! The story line is exciting and keeps the kids attention (and adults too!) The illustrations are great! The QR code makes it interactive! We also bought one for our nephews and would suggest this book for Christmas gifts! We love Dave Preston’s children’s CD’s and he is also a great author- put those together and you have The Monster in My Basement!
3,224 reviews26 followers
October 16, 2020
Ha! Kids are going to enjoy this tale of a boy meeting the monster in the basement! It has a nice momentum and a good twist. Illustrations were amusing and well done.

I received a Kindle arc from Netgalley in exchange for a fair review.
Profile Image for A Robin Reads.
101 reviews59 followers
February 20, 2022
Didn't super like the drawing style. The story was just okay. Some parts from the writing I didn't super like. Message for children is good in this one though.
41 reviews
April 14, 2021
I loved this book, I thought that it was so fun to read. I liked how they wrote this book and made the monster to be a good guy. I also really liked all the fun colored words!
Profile Image for Emilee (emileereadsbooks).
1,313 reviews24 followers
October 9, 2020
Thanks to NetGalley and Independent Publishers Group, CrissCross AppleSauce for a free digital copy for my review.

A rhyming story about finding a hungry monster in the basement. I liked the whimsy of it all and the ways the words fit into the illustrations so well.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews

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