A New Song for Herman by P. McAllister

  • Sean Borle


McAllister, Paul. A New Song for Herman. Herman’s Monster House Publishing, 2017.

There are many books designed to help children who are afraid of monsters.  This is the second book that Paul McAllister has written on the subject. In this one, Herman, a green House Monster turned Barista Monster, works at Sarah’s cafe and is famous for his mochaccinos. However, his work is suffering because he is being kept awake at night by an Attic Monster. It turns out that the Attic Monster is just baking cookies in an old Easy Bake Oven, so Herman offers him a job baking at the restaurant. 

The text is simple, but includes some repetition of the Attic Monster’s song “humba rumba lumba rumba gurgle gurgle bing!”, which children will enjoy and will want to repeat during a reading. Both the text and the illustrations help children identify with monsters rather than being afraid of them. Emily Brown has made the monsters look like cuddly stuffy toys. Even the Attic Monster who scares Herman turns out to be “the cutest little monster he’d ever seen.” Brown has also included fun details in the illustrations. For example, when Herman is at his most sleep deprived, he makes the coffee with dirt and Brown shows him holding a coffee pot that has a flower growing out of it. 

This fun book is recommended for public and school library collections.

Recommended: 3 stars out of 4
Reviewer: Sean C. Borle

Sean Borle is a University of Alberta undergraduate student who is an advocate for child health and safety. 

How to Cite
Borle, S. (2018). A New Song for Herman by P. McAllister. The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.20361/dr29335
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