Benita loves to read in bed but keeps getting interrupted by a whistling Tunche, a scary Supay and other spooky creatures from Peruvian lore. To the creatures' disbelief, Benita is so absorbed by her book that she's not the least bit scared of them.
This humorous celebration of bedtime reading puts a global twist on taking the "scary" out of monsters.
Creatures of Peruvian folklore cannot tear Benita, a pigtailed, red-bespectacled child portrayed with light brown skin, away from a book in Llanos's humorous volume from a Peruvian creative team. After Benita finds a book "to devour," ghost-resembling Cuco bounces in Benita's window and yells "Boo!"--to which Benita, never looking up, responds "Bless you" and hands over a tissue. After gathering reinforcements, Cuco offers another shout, while air-freezing pal Tunche lets out a hearty "FEEEENNN!" Annoyed by the racket, Benita demands quiet. When wailing purple spirit Supay joins the group the following night, Benita explodes: "DON'T YOU SEE I'M READING A BOOK?" Following an emergency meeting, the creatures decide they want in, and Benita obliges, kicking off a most unusual storytime. Using mostly black backgrounds and a zingy palette, illustrating duo Cocoretto put their own bold folk art stamp on creatures of lore, while play-by-play text from Llanos establishes the child's single-minded pursuit of reading and the beasts' comic surprise. Contextualizing back matter and creators' notes conclude. Ages 4-9. (Sept.)Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.