by Sina Merabian (Author) Sina Merabian (Illustrator)
How to Catch a Monster meets Persian myth in this engaging picture book set in a lively Iranian bathhouse the day before the Persian New Year as three boys encounter something unexpected.
The bathhouse is always busy the day before Nowruz. Everyone wants to be clean for the new year! As three boys enjoy their day at the bathhouse with their fathers, they hear a strange sound and decide to investigate. There's a big mess, and they hear the sound of someone--or something--large splashing in the baths. What could it be? An unruly guest? A four-legged intruder? Or perhaps...a monster?
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K-Gr 2--There is a Div (Persian monster) threatening to ruin Nowruz (the new year) in the bathhouse. A group of friends think they have seen the Div and warn their fathers, who in turn find only a small cat walking through the beautiful building--giving everyone a good laugh. Soft, colorful illustrations, punctuated by bright reds, complement the narrative that introduces Nowruz, including its rituals. The beautifully illustrated architecture and decor of the bathhouse provide an ideal setting for the excitement and rituals of holiday preparation. For readers celebrating Nowruz, this book is a fun way to get excited for the new year, with a thrilling Div tale. For readers unfamiliar with it, Merabian provides a brief summary, its traditions, and how this tale fits in with Persian storytelling. VERDICT For libraries looking to expand juvenile architecture or holiday collections, this tale fills a niche.--Jessica Schriver, Rutgers Univ., Camden, NJCopyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.