A Monster in the House

Dutton Children's Books, 1998


A little girl impresses her new neighbor with tales of the messy, noisy, slobbery monster who lives in her home. Later we find out who the monster really is.


ABA Pick of the Lists
Bank Street College Best Book
ABA/CBC Best Book 1999 




Inspired by my young daughter’s feelings about her adorable, if messy, demanding and loud, baby brother, this book is both a riddle and a tall tale. In this story, a girl tries to impress her new neighbor with stories of the bossy,  hair-pulling, toe-sucking, slobbery fiend who lives in her house. Later we discover that the monster is the girl’s baby brother -- and we are reminded that we were all such "monsters" when we were babies. (My older sisters and brother have told me that I was.) 


"A wondrously silly tall tale ...expect laughter as readers grasp the truth of the monster’s identity.”
 -- Kirkus


“Luxuriantly detailed collages...Children will relish the joke and find plenty of detail to linger over.”
 -- Booklist 


“The age-old subject of a new baby is deftly handled in this winning combination of lively art and 
childlike text...The beast reaches delightfully horrible and gargantuan proportions until it’s revealed 
that his is actually little, soft and cuddly...This charming twist on a popular subject is appropriate for 
both lap and group sharing.
 -- School Library Journal 


“Kleven honestly portrays the mixed feelings of affection and annoyance that siblings often have for 
one another.”
 -- Publishers Weekly


To hear Elisa tell the story behind the story of A MONSTER IN THE HOUSE, 
please click on this link

Korean Monster in the House wins "Best World Story"

award.  Yay.