Spike, the Mixed-up Monster Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-07-18 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 10 user ratings

" Spike believed he was a monster but other animals saw him as so small and cute that they weren't scared by him. When another animal came along who did make them afraid, Spike did what he could to be scary. Cute story and illustrations with very interesting facts on the back pages. " said.

" I've been searching long for a children's book that tells it like it is from the axolotl's point of view and here it is!All kidding aside, this is a really fun story about a "monster" (Spike the axoltol) not making it in the monster category by not being at all scary. But then a true monster (of the Gila variety) comes along and Spike is the only one who manages to face him.Liked the sprinkling of Spanish throughout.Great illustrations. " said.

"Ages 3 and up

Spike thinks of himself as a very fearsome monster, but he is little so no one is scared of him. One day a big Gila Monster comes to the pond and all of the other animals are scared of him. Spike does his best to scare the Gila Monster, but he doesn't so he just smiles at him. It turns out the Gila Monster is just lost and needs directions. Spike helps him on his way. After he leaves all of the other animals come back and are impressed because they believe that Spike scared the Gila Monster away.
" said.

"Pros: Beautiful images. Portrays real animals (with bios in the back).

Cons: Choppy use of Spanish. Bland story line.

It's a story that's been told a million times- main character struggles with something, but they encounter a situation which changes their view of their limitations and brings to light their strengths. The Spanish and animals are a fun way to spice up the bland story line, but the use of Spanish is almost nonexistent in the beginning, then heavy at the end. In the end, the illustrations definitely save the day.
" said.

"This book is great. It has Spanish words in the book which is great for kids when they beginning to learn Spanish. Also, I love that the end of the book are pictures of the animals in real life and gives much more information about Spike and his Amigos.

We can talk about where Spike lives in a lake in Mexico, and where we live in relation to Spike. We can talk about why some of the animals reacted the way they did to Spike's trying to be a monster.

Hood, S., & Sweet, M. (2012). Spike: The mixed-up monster. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.
" said.

"The text is a la Skippy-Jon Jones, this time with an axolotl (Mexican salamander) and a gila monster. It's structured similarly, without the unfettered imagination and more of a fear and friendship story. I see what the author is doing, but would refer readers to the review by my cyber-friend Alyson(Kit Lit Frenzy) for reservations.

I also agree with the high-rating for Melissa Sweet illustrations. Melissa, please come paint a mural on the wall of my nursury!

The back matter is great for schools and libraries, and this may find a place alongside Skippy, but it's no replacement.
" said.

"Spike loves to bare his sharp teeth, shake his spike spines and swoosh his tail. Problem is he's only as big as a lily pad. The other animals laugh at him and say he's awful cute. Spike doesn't want to be cute. He wants to be fierce!

When a Gila Monster comes traipsing through the other animals disappear quickly. Spike sticks around to try to scare off the monster. But when the Gila Monster smiles at Spike, he finds himself disappointed. But the Monster is grateful someone has smiled at him. He then proceeds to ask for directions and calls Spike a friend.
" said.

"Spike is an axolotl salamander who longs to be taken seriously as a monster. But el pato (the duck), el campano (Mexican vole), and el armadillo (armadillo, of course), think he's too small to be frightening. But when the scary el monstruo, or gila monster appears, it's up to Spike to save the day. This cute story introduces readers to several Mexican animals (helpful facts can be found at the end of the book, for you teachers looking for Common Core connections) as well as a few Spanish words. Mostly, though kids will enjoy the story and expressive watercolor illustrations." said.

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