Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Child Pick: Spike, The Mixed-Up Monster

Spike, The Mixed-Up Monster
By Susan Hood
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
(A Paula Wiseman Book)
40 pages
Ages 4-8

Spike is a funny looking monster. He tries to be intimidating and scary, but the other animals laugh at his antics. He is only as big as a lily pad, a not very intimidating or scary lily pad, either. Duck, Armadillo and Vole all tell him he’s cute and funny. Spike is disheartened. He sulks.

Then, one day, a big, scary monster shows up. The animals run off except for Spike. He shows the big, scary monster all his own scary moves, and, guess what? The monster laughs. He thinks Spike is a great example of a friend. Duck, Armadillo and Vole hail Spike as their savior and he revels in their glory.

Captivating and cute illustrations by Melissa Sweet feature a lovable Spike and a few new Spanish words to learn make this book a true learning experience. The glossary in the back of the book defines each Spanish word. Two pages identify the animals found in the book, again with colorful illustrations. Spike isn’t a monster at all; he is an axolotl, a Mexican salamander. Children will love Spike—a monster with monster troubles!

This YA reviewer loved Spike and this book. I only step out of the YA genre on occasion when I see a children’s book I just have to read. The cute and colorful cover art of Spike drew me right in and it will youngsters, too. This is a real treasure for every child’s bookshelf.

Highly, highly recommended for all who love an underdog monster. Ages 4-8 and everyone else, too.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


  1. I'm loving your child picks more and more! Spike is laughed at but he's so brave. Great example to stand up for yourself (:
    She’s Got Books on Her Mind

  2. Spike looks like a great find.

    Renita L. Mccabe-Irvin
    Stewartville Public Schools