Early Book Review: Monster Heroes by Blake Hoena, Dave Bardin

Monster Heroes written by Blake Hoena and illustrated by Dave Bardin is a transitional chapter book. This book collects four shorter stories by the author and illustrator pair: Ghost Trap, Zombies and Meatballs, Vampires and Veggies, and Witch's Brew.   It is currently scheduled for release on June 1 2017. A zombie, a ghost, a vampire, and a witch make up one unique group of monster friends who don't exactly fit in with the other monsters. While their friends and family are busy scaring humans and doing general scary stuff, our four monster friends are using their skills for the greater good.

Monster Heroes is a series of stories with an idea and artwork that I liked. Ghosts, monsters, and ghoulies that want to help people rather than eat or scare them. The artwork is bright, and sometimes silly, which I think was perfect for the book. The stories were a little fun with good intentioned monsters trying to help and protect people. Even though the book is an easy read, and intended to be, I found it to be a little too simplified. I do not think that is quite the right word, but it is the one that keeps swirling through my mind. I felt like there could have been something more, but I cannot quite put my finger on what. Even with a simple vocabulary big ideas and humor can be abundant.  I have read a lot of easy readers and transitional chapterbooks- and while they are easy readers the best ones have something that help the reader connect with the characters and I could not find the connection here. I wanted to love the book, but I just did not.

Monster Heroes is a transitional chapter book with many playful and bright illustrations. Readers that like Casper and similar stories about creatures that should be scary being nice will enjoy the read. I found it to be a little too simplified and stiff- but I do think there are many readers out there that will enjoy the story.
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