Tiger’s sweet-tempered parents indulge her talk about the hungry monster who lives underneath her bed (“It loves curry!” she tells them). But Monster is real, and after they play board games and Tiger goes to sleep, it earns its dinner by chasing away Tiger’s nightmares. One night, an extra-horrible nightmare with a bleached skull proves too much for Monster. The next night is no better, nor the next. With Monster’s loyal support, Tiger confronts the nightmare herself. It’s a story about fear, both the way it can paralyze (“Nope,” says Monster, hunched miserably under Tiger’s covers) and the way it can be overcome (“You’re in my head! You’re not real!” Tiger yells at the specter). Newcomer Tetri’s pencil-and-watercolor panels capture Tiger’s engaging, cublike features and daytime world in warm shades of gold and olive, while the epic battles that rage at night wash across the page in tidal sweeps of gray and blue. The Jetsons-style sci-fi setting adds another dimension of fun. Seamless visual storytelling and an impressive emotional range make this a notable debut. Ages 6–10. (Nov.)
A 2019 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor book
A 2018 Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of the Year
A School Library Journal Best Graphic Novel of 2018
"Real or not, nightmares affect us, and so the true victory in Tetri’s book comes in unlikely collaborations and creativity in the face of terror." The New York Times
"Tetri has crafted a sweet, uplifting tale of best friends, imagination, bravery, and teamwork. Highly recommended for fans of Lorena Alvarez’s Nightlights and anyone who has, or remembers having, nighttime terrors." School Library Journal, starred review
"Rich details enhance the setting inconspicuously: Tiger's parents, also tigers, run a repair shop for flying cars; one parent is Dad while the other is of undesignated gender. A visual and emotional symphony." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The art gives the title the comfort of a younger picture book, but the story itself deals directly with the emotional growth of growing kids, as they wrestle with the anxieties that come with shifting challengesin sleeping or otherwisethat must be confronted when growing up." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
"Tetri’s pencil-and-watercolor panels capture Tiger’s engaging, cublike features...seamless visual storytelling and an impressive emotional range make this a notable debut." Publishers Weekly
"With an empowering message, beautifully dynamic artwork, and an invitingly open format, this is a natural choice for kids making the transition from picture books to graphic novels." Booklist
"Tetri brings the reader not just into the action of the story but into its emotion as well. Looking at the art on these pages, the reader feels the victory over the nightmare, right along with Tiger and Monster." Horn Book
Gr 1–3—In this endearing graphic novel, an anthropomorphic tiger cub's best friend is the monster under her bed. Tiger's parents think Monster is imaginary, but every evening, they let Tiger bring Monster dinner. Monster eats, the two of them play games, and when Tiger goes to sleep, Monster scares the nightmares away and makes sure the little cub gets a good night's rest. But when a nightmare that even Monster can't handle appears, Tiger has to learn to face her fears herself. The characters are adorable, and Tiger's world is original and futuristic, with flying vehicles and industrial-style buildings. The graphics are in gorgeous full color, with an almost blurred watercolor effect, beautifully conveying both delightfully creepy nightmare scenes and vibrant daytime illustrations. An image of intrepid little Tiger staring up at the nightmare, a creature with a shadowy body and a horned skull, is especially striking. The use of panels of a multitude of sizes enriches the narrative. The speech balloons are particularly well done, adding dimension to every mood or situation. The vocabulary is approachable—kids will enjoy reading this on their own or with an adult. VERDICT Tetri has crafted a sweet, uplifting tale of best friends, imagination, bravery, and teamwork. Highly recommended for fans of Lorena Alvarez's Nightlights and anyone who has, or remembers having, nighttime terrors.—Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT
A tiger, with some unusual help, fights off a nightmare.
Tiger's parents don't quite believe that the reason she carries extra curry or tacos from the supper table to her bedroom is because she has a monster under her bed, but it's true. Monster was supposed to scare her long ago, but instead they play together nightly. Then, while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares away Tiger's horned, multieyed, centipedelike nightmares—until a nightmare with a long-jawed white skull and a changeable, smoky body arrives. It conquers Monster and reaches Tiger. From now on, Tiger and Monster must work together. The plans they implement are brilliant and brave, and their hard-won victory (it takes a few tries) couldn't be more triumphant, relieving, or empowering. Compositions range from full-bleed spreads to pages holding multiple sequential panels. Using watercolors and pencils, Tetri creates one color-world of inky blues (Monster; nighttime) and another of oranges and yellows (Tiger; daytime). The meanings of each color-world hold nuance and complexity: The nightmares are of the blue world, but so are coziness and small, dear Monster; Tiger's victory explodes with warm colors like dawn, but she could only achieve it at night. Rich details enhance the setting inconspicuously: Tiger's parents, also tigers, run a repair shop for flying cars; one parent is Dad while the other is of undesignated gender.
A visual and emotional symphony. (Picture book. 4-8)