The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide

Written by Linda Ashman, Illustrated by David Small
Simon & Schuster, 2003. 978-0689826405.


“As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best.” —Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

“With this beautifully designed volume full of enchanting and excellent verse, Ashman takes her place with Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Douglas Florian, and the like, as an accomplished poet who will be well appreciated by young readers.” —Starred Review, School Library Journal

“In vivid rhyme, Ashman leads readers on a round-the-world tour of mythical beasts and folkloric frights. For kids with active imaginations, this clever book takes the bite out of things that go bump in the night.” —Publishers Weekly

“Each fiend is profiled in a witty cautionary poem, followed by a deadpan explanatory note that contrasts hilariously with the tongue-in-cheek watercolors. ” —Booklist

About this Story


Be careful near Loch Ness.
Don’t wander off, oblivious.
Nessie likes the water,
But she just might be amphibious.

Growing up in rural New Jersey, I was convinced that the woods behind our house were inhabited by little folk who threw parties and danced with the trees at night. I loved fairy tales and loved listening to my mother read poetry, especially humorous and sometimes scary poems about goops and goblins.

For this collection, I got to indulge my fascination with fantastic creatures. I spent an enormous amount of time researching monsters, looking for quirky characteristics, and trying to include some little-known creatures along with the better-known.

The Monster Guide was the second book I sold, back in 1998. I was thrilled to be matched with the very talented David Small, but — as with my first book — a bit shocked to learn the book wouldn’t come out until late 2003. Of course, now that I can see David’s wonderfully humorous paintings, I know it was well worth the wait.