Unlike Other Monsters


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Some people like to be scared. They go on rollercoasters. See scary movies. Enjoy a late night haunted hayride. And when there’s nothing scary going on, they might take advantage of being scared by video. Let’s face it: It’s not always possible to be scared in person.

Others will do anything to NOT be scared. They avoid spiders. And turn on all the lights before entering a room.

But there was once a monster, Zander, who didn’t even know he could be scared. Like other monsters, it was his job to show up in unexpected places to scare young children. And he was pretty good at his job. He was kind of proud about it, actually.

But he had lived his whole life until now without knowing he had his own fear.


It had never once occurred to him that there was anything in his whole monster world that might scare him.

But then it happened.

You can’t even imagine, really.

When he saw it, he just froze. He couldn’t move. Can you imagine how horrible it is to encounter something that terrifies you—when you didn’t even know you could be scared ever—and then to be unable to move? You need to be able to run away when you’re scared. That’s how it goes with scary things.

AND he couldn’t scream! It was like his voice had been stolen from him. He wasn’t even sure he was breathing.

So there he was, frozen, no voice, possibly not breathing.

All because he saw—I mean, he didn’t even know such a horrifying thing existed—but there it was—

A tiny little baby bunny.

He totally freaked out!

You can understand, right?

I mean a baby bunny!

With those whiskers. And that itty-bitty triangle nose. And those barely flopping ears. And all that fur.


Zander had had no idea that he lived in a world where such fearsome creatures roamed.

Luckily, the bunny eventually went away in a way that any normal creature wouldn’t move—I mean, who hops? (No offense, kangaroos.)

Eventually, Zander unfroze, got his voice back, and could breathe properly. But this changed everything!

What if he went to scare a kid and that kid had a baby bunny in her room. Then what, huh?

He knew he could never go back to the park where he’d seen the bunny, obviously, but what if there were baby bunnies in other places too?

That’s when Zander first looked into the possibility of scaring children by video. Everyone laughed.

You need to be IN THE ROOM to scare a kid, everyone said.


You didn’t even know this, did you?

That VideoScare Inc. all began because of one monster who became too scared to leave his house? He was committed to scaring, but terrified of seeing bunnies. But as everyone knows, the best ideas always hatch when a monster’s feeling kind of desperate.



By Audrey Vernick Illustrated by Colin Jack Published by  Disney Press ISBN-13: 9781423199595 Age Range: 3 – 5 Years

Zander is a monster. Monsters don’t have friends. They prefer to scare children and eat their raisin bread alone. Then one day Zander meets a bird, and the unexpected happens. They start to spend time together, and Zander is reminded of how he’s unlike other monsters. But does the fact they share secrets and hang out mean this is a fledgling friendship? And what will the other monsters think?

Award-winning author Audrey Vernick tackles the sometimes awkward but always exhilarating experience of making a new friend.

Look For It If You Dare… Local Library | Local Bookstore | Amazon | B&N


Audrey Vernick author photo

She is a total scaredy-cat about everything, and never thought she’d write a book about a monster. But of course, in the scaredy-cat-writer’s world, monsters are very into scrapbooking and eating cinnamon bread. Obviously.  Her other creepy subjects include a kindergarten-attending buffalo, a rhinoceros who can’t stand the dog everyone thinks is his best friend, a pet whale named Nuncio, and yeah, it gets really scary in the pages of a Vernick book.

Audrey Vernick lives in the terrifying state of New Jersey. She visits schools to talk about writing and if you saw her you’d be super-scared because she’s really, really tall. Like almost five feet tall. Seriously. I know.