Written and illustrated by Rebecca Emberley and Ed Emberley
Orchard Books (Scholastic), 2010
If you want to see your children go zombie over a book, hold this one in front of them.
Then stand back and watch their eyes bulge out and their arms spring forward to get it out of your hands.
The Emberleys latest gem is an eye-popping delight. Bold, crisp cut-outs of rainbow colored monsters growl and jiggle to a raucous rendition of the popular repetitive song, "If You're Happy and You Know It."
As monsters jump out from all angles of the page with huge, hypnotic eyes, readers are coaxed to join in with the song and show they're monsters too by acting out various prompts.
First the monsters snort and growl, then they smack their claws, stomp their paws and twitch their tails. Next comes the silliest yet, wiggle your warts, as monsters shake their spotted bodies and flip around.
Then it's time for readers to show their stuff with a roar. As your child turns the page, a jagged mouthed monster opens his jaws wide over a two-page spread, suggesting just how loud they should cry out.
But wait, isn't it time for the tail of the song?
Clear out some furniture, Mom and Dad, it's time to do all six prompts at once!
If your children are silly and you know it, you won't want to miss this frenetic, fun book. The question is: who will be more wound up at the end? Your readers or the monsters?
Just be sure to have pile of multi-colored construction paper on hand when they tucker out. Nothing will delight them like snipping out monsters of their own.
To download the song, click here. If You're a Monster and You Know It is sung by Adrian Emberley, Rebecca's daughter and Ed's granddaughter.
Ed Emberley is beloved for his drawings books as well as many popular picture books, including the 1972 Caldecott Medal winning Drummer Hoff, written by wife Barbara Emberley.