Cover of Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters

The publisher says, “Creep, gurgle, crawl, tumble! Meet two young monsters who are far from scary—they’re too busy having fun. They go to school, play outside with their friends, and eat after-school snacks. But they also have a bedtime, whether or not they’re ready for it! Young children and parents alike will find much to identify with as they follow these lovable little monsters getting ready for bed. With wildly colorful illustrations full of whimsy and warmth, Kelly Murphy brings Jane Yolen’s gently rhyming tale to rambunctious life.”

This book of very few words and many rhymes was a delight to write…and rewrite…and rewrite again! My editor at Candlewick, Katie Cunningham, was super. I think we both absolutely fell in love with Kelly Murphy’s illustrations. (I was the one who suggested her for the book, and boy! am I glad I did!) And Katie has already signed me up for (and I have already written) a sequel called “Warty Monsters, Sporty Monsters.” If they take off, it will be delicious series to write. If not, well I am still thrilled to have this book and the second.

Other books in the series:


Around the web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “The beautiful illustrations bring warmth to this whimsical lullaby.”—
  • “Reminding me of the lovable monsters from Disney’s Monsters Inc, this book brings monsters down to a level that toddlers and preschoolers can really identify with. Not so scary monsters with horns, antennas, multiple eyes and more, go through a typical day like any other preschooler. ”—A Frugal TV Dallas
  • “A whimsical bedtime story to share again and again…A first choice for any library serving sweet, silly little monsters.”—School Library Journal
  • “Dinnertime leads to bath time and eventually bedtime when monsters jump and bounce and toss and turn. Siblings GROWL and gurgle, BUPR and grrr, SNARL and snarf and finally mumble, “I’m not sleepy.” Of course, the picture reveals otherwise! Besides creating some of the most memorable monsters this side of Where the Wild Things Are, Murphy’s color palette is warm and gentle, like a cozy comforter. On top of that, little details here and there, like the bubbling stew in Monster Mom’s pot and the tell-tale tail sticking out from under the bed (do monsters have monsters under their beds???) make Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters – a lullaby perfect for multiple readings.”—
  • “This book is the perfect Halloween story for young children, geared toward ages 3-5. Every page only has a tiny bit of rhyming text that keeps the story flowing….but each page also has colorful illustrations of monsters galore. . . .a great story for this Halloween season. It’s not scary at all, but rather pretty funny.”—Mama Buzz
  • “More cute than creepy, this lullaby follows two monsters from classroom to bedtime routine. . . . witty illustrations by Murphy (“Hush Little Dragon”). . .abound in slithery, sinister asides: a stacking toy stacks on a bone; a Totoro-like ghost trails a larger figure. And googly-eyed monsters eat worm-ridden salad. Slurp”—NY Times
  • “Warmly lit autumn-colored pages are the perfect homey back-drop for this appealing tot tale, a top-notch choice for Halloween-era story times.”—
  • “Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters . . . has quickly become one of my children’s favorite books! This adorable story follows a couple of monster siblings home from school and back for their evening routines. We laughed at the similarities to my two young monsters at home. . . .(A) perfect tale of little ones as they get ready for bed. The illustrations are fantastic. My kids and I love the details in the pictures, they capture everyday life so well!”—Macaroni Kid
  • “Even young monsters need their sleep. (***½,) In a simple rhyme (“Monsters slither, Monsters wave/All in a hurry/To get to their cave”) Jane Yolen celebrates daily routines in a family of goggle-eyed monsters: school, play, home, dinner, bath and bed. Did someone say bedtime? The biggest treats here are the details buried in KellyMurphy’s playful paintings of the monsters, more gentle, domesticated cousins of Maurice Sendak’s classic wild things. Vocabulary words to read aloud include growl, burp, grrrr and that all-time parental favorite: Zzzzz.”—USA Today
  • “I like this one. It was fun. It is definitely not your cute-little-bunnies-getting-all-ready-for-bed bedtime story book. Which is a nice change!?–Becky’s Book Reviews/Zero to Eight
  • “I like the simple rhyming text that shows that these adorable, “not-so-scary” monsters are just like them making bedtime a lot less frightening for my three year old who has been going through a phase where he is afraid of “monsters under the bed”. They really enjoyed the fun illustrations by Kelly Murphy that brings the story to life and captures their imaginations. It is a fun bedtime story that promotes lots of giggling and cuddling before bed. We have read this book by “special request” many evenings and my children continue to enjoy it.”—Simply
  • “While these miniature monsters act like their human counterparts, they certainly growl and grunt more than the average child. The illustrations add cuddly visuals of fat, furry creatures, inciting the reader to marvel over their cuteness. Why read it: This is a nice bedtime read, fittingly described as “a lullaby.” The rhyming lines and deeply colored pages will soothe your child to sleep. In fact, the book ends with some monster zzzz’s, which creates the perfect lead-in to lights out.”—Fort Worth Star Telegram
  • “Monster kids – are you ready for this? – are just like normal kids! That’s the tried-and-true message veteran author Yolen delivers in this whimsical, warmhearted rhyme, which turns bumps in the night into the sweetest sounds of all. “Monsters creep, / Monsters crawl, / Over the meadow / And up the wall,” she writes, as a cadre of beasties make its way from school, through the playground, across the park, down the street, and into home for dinner, baths, and bedtime. Murphy’s oil, acrylic, and gel illustrations instantly grab attention with their unusual, omniscient points of view: sailing high above the ground or from an angle even lower than a bathtub. The monsters look like they walked off a Maurice Sendak casting call, with their big, wobbly bodies and almost random sprinklings of horns, tentacles, and eyeballs. Yolen winds down her lullaby with night noises (Burp / Grrrr / Snarl / Snarf) that peter away as the two monstrous siblings finally conk out. Bedtime fare you can count on.”—Booklist
  • “”This brief lullaby-story provides just-right toddler-sized chills. . .Murphy chooses a muted palette to illustrate the motley bunch of innocuous creatures sporting a horn or two, various numbers of eyes, an occasional tail or tufts of fur. Preschool monster fans are sure to pore over and giggle at Murphy’s droll, detailed paintings executed in a mix of oil, acrylic and gel. They will also easily relate to the depicted routine of coming home, eating dinner, taking a bath and getting into bed, and they will be charmed rather than spooked as the text’s gentle cadence begins to work a calming magic. But the monsters show a last burst of energy—of course—as they “toss and turn and bounce” before finally snuggling in for the night. Silly going-to-sleep sounds such as “Growl / Gurgle / Burp” gently bring this soon-to-be popular book to an end. There’s plenty in this scary-sweet book to please children all year round.”—Kirkus