Monsters Unbound



Reviewers of our eBook, Monsters Do Ugly Things, have not been compensated in any way other than receiving a free copy of our eBook to read and critique.

Shannon Yarbrough at

For those of you giving Ereading devices for the holidays to the young (or old) readers in your lives over the next two days, I highly recommend purchasing Mark Adam Kaplan's picture book called Monsters Do Ugly Things. It's appropriate for readers "4 to 400."

I had the pleasure of reading this little gem in the iBooks format and couldn't resist reading it twice in one setting. It's approximately 41 pages long. The first half explores the ugly things that monsters do: they play with their food, they sneeze on each other, they pick on other monsters...

The second half explores the pretty things that monsters do too: they take baths, they have friends, they protect their siblings, etc.

There's one short sentence per page under a vibrantly colored, funny illustration. The illustrations were provided by Glenn Scano. Adults will appreciate the artwork simply for it being almost reminiscent of the classic Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, a classic picture book from our time. I fully admit I laughed out loud and said a few "awes" while reading it.

There's a lot of fun humor in the pictures alone which will really capture the young imagination. For instance, the monsters bathing are in mud instead of water or the monster brushing his teeth is using an evergreen tree for a toothbrush. It's definitely an enjoyable read for interactive sit down time or even bed time at the end of the day. And let's not forget the "pretty lessons" it can help to teach kids. There's also a list of all the monster's names in the front of the book so kids can memorize who is who and pick their favorite.

The only regret is that this book is not available in hard copy yet. That's too bad because I could totally envision a whole market of little stuffed ugly monsters to go along with the book. But "even monsters know that digital media is the future" according to their website!

There are lots of Ebook versions available. If you don't have an Ereader, you can download the desktop Kindle app to enjoy it. There's free computer wallpaper available at the book's website, Monsters Unbound.

There's also black and white PDF downloads available of the ugly or pretty monsters for you to print out as coloring book pages.

And there's even a slide show available on DVD for the classroom or play room complete with audio and music.

Monsters Do Ugly Things is a great way to share the digital reading experience with the young ones in your household. And like I said, it's a perfect gift for this holiday season! I know I will be reading it again and again when I need a smile or a good laugh.


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Rick Rhodes at

Entertaining little story by Mark Adam Kaplan with kid friendly illustrations by Glenn Scano. Some of the ugly things monsters do: They pick their noses, they talk with their mouths full, they laugh when other monsters get hurt. But Monsters also do pretty things. Some take baths, have friends, help other monsters, and share.

As you can see, this children’s book teaches kids good and bad behavior through the illustration of monsters doing ugly and pretty things. Naturally the child will want to be a monster doing pretty things. I think it was a beautiful idea, and will bring these lessons to children without them knowing they are being taught. Sometimes, that’s the best way to teach them it seems.

The illustrations by Mr. Scano make some of the fun parts of the book, seeing the variety of monsters, doing both the good and bad things that Monster’s do. I think a child would love the book simply for the illustrations.

I’d say this appropriate for the younger set, though it does feature monsters, none of the illustrations are set to frighten, but rather to cause fits of giggles. Pick this up for the child in your life, and take some time to read it with them. You’ll create a great memory that they’ll carry throughout their lifetime.

About the Author

Mark and Glenn both grew up in New York City and have known each other since 1976.

Mark is a writer, now living in California with his wife and two daughters.

Glenn is an artist, still living in New York with his wife, a bulldog, a pug and a cat.

The creative partnership works like this… Mark comes up with most of the ideas and Glenn has some kind of mystical power that he uses to take the pictures out of Mark’s head (even though they’re separated by the continent of North America). Sometimes Glenn comes up with an idea and just draws it, knowing full well that Mark will come up with a caption.

*Disclaimer* A special thanks goes out to Mark Adam Kaplan for a review copy of this book. It in no way influenced my review.


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Tracy Farnsworth at

Monsters Do Ugly Things is a whimsical children's picture book available for the Kindle, and also at B&N, and iTunes. The story is basic and will appeal to the young reader. It shows a variety of monsters causing havoc in a number of places. However, it also shows children that for every bad monster, there are good ones who do good things.

Mark Adam Kaplan's narrative is perfect for the beginning reader. Sentences are short and do not use words that are too challenging. Plus, there is some repetition, such as "monsters," that children will quickly start to identify the word as they read along. For that reason, I'd peg this as a useful tool for helping a child who is learning to read.

The illustrations by Glenn Scano are bright and colorful. His monsters are often silly, rarely creepy or scary, so don't be worried about them frightening your young reader. If you have a Kindle, this book is certainly worth the very affordable asking price.


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Joy Hannabass at

Most kids love monsters, and I really like that Mark Adam Kaplan’s Monsters Do Ugly Things not only tells about the bad things monsters do, it tells about the good things too. Each page in this little book has a picture of a monster in the act of doing something either ugly or pretty, with an explanation in writing of what they are doing. Some of the ugly things monsters do here are pick their nose, make a mess, talk with their mouth full, and laugh at other monsters. And some of the pretty things the monsters do here are take a bath, brush their teeth, help others, and they don’t fight. Which monster are you? Be sure to check out this book to see all of the ugly and pretty things monsters do and see what kind of monster you are.

With a topic that both girls and boys love, using monsters is a really unique and awesome way to teach children the difference between good and bad, pretty and ugly. This book starts with the ugly things monsters do, and finishes with pretty thing done by monsters. The illustrations are unique, colorful, adorable, and funny, and any child could make up their own story just by the pictures.

Monsters Do Ugly Things by Mark Adam Kaplan, and illustrated by Glenn Scano is a book that you will want to have in your child’s library. And I would highly recommend it for school libraries everywhere. We truly need more valuable books like this precious little monster book.


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Diane Donovan at

Mark Adam Kaplan and Glenn Scano have crafted a book that is exceptional, with Glenn Scano providing the engaging, fun illustrations for MONSTERS DO UGLY THINGS, using five brands of colored pencils to make his monsters come alive. A very simple e-book format features full color, one monster and one line of description per page, and offers hilarious scenarios kids and adults will appreciate.

Monsters play with their food (a knight hovers over a pot, held by his pants), they make a mess (picture a monster stomping through downtown holding trucks and crushing 'eat at Mo's' signs), and take things that aren't theirs (one monster steals meat from another).

Each page holds a different monster and a different behavior that makes him monstrous. Later pages outline behaviors that make monsters endearing, from caring for pets to enjoying art, flowers, and fun activities. Kids and parents will delight in a picturebook format that translates very well to digital, losing nothing in the translation process.

The bad monster/good monster format offers gentle fun lessons in a picturebook designed as a bedtime visual and verbal guide.

MONSTERS DO UGLY THINGS is the perfect item of choice for parents seeking something different for the very young. The digital format lends well to screen viewing, the monsters are colorful and original creations, and the one-line, big-print observations are very easy for the smallest child to digest.

A 'must' for any parent seeking an easy read-aloud, digital picturebook for bedtime!


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