Linda Ashman

children's book author, mom, wife, writing instructor, animal lover, gardener, vegetarian . . .




LIBRARIANS' CHOICE 2003, Cincinnati Library

"As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best, Ashman profiles 13 magical creatures from as many parts of the world. Small links the creatures into a tour, sending two children and an attentive bassett hound around the world in a balloon. As both a surefire read-aloud and a heads-up for prospective young travelers, this can't be beat." Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

"Ashman delivers delightful verses cautioning of creepy creatures from many cultures. The poems are well served, not surprisingly, by Small's energetic and wacky watercolors that fill each spread. With this beautifully designed volume full of enchanting and excellent verse, Ashman takes her place with Jack Prelutsky, J. Patrick Lewis, Douglas Florian, and the like, as an accomplished poet who will be well appreciated by young readers." Starred Review, School Library Journal

"In vivid rhyme, Ashman leads readers on a round-the-world tour of mythical beasts and folkloric frights. For kids with active imaginations, this clever book takes the bite out of things that go bump in the night." Publishers Weekly

"Each fiend is profiled in a witty cautionary poem, followed by a deadpan explanatory note that contrasts hilariously with the tongue-in-cheek watercolors. It's unclear what fraction of each entry derives from Ashman's enviable creativity and what is faithful to legend and lore, so be ready to provide further reading for children eager to set forth on their own expeditions." Booklist
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The Essential Worldwide Monster Guide

From THE ESSENTIAL WORLDWIDE MONSTER GUIDE. Illustrations 2003 by David Small. Used with permission of Simon & Schuster.

Author's Note


Be careful near Loch Ness.
Don't wander off, oblivious.
Nessie likes the water,
But she just might be amphibious.

Growing up in rural New Jersey, I was convinced that the woods behind our house were inhabited by little folk who threw parties and danced with the trees at night. I loved fairy tales and loved listening to my mother read poetry, especially humorous and sometimes scary poems about goops and goblins.

For this collection, I got to indulge my fascination with fantastic creatures. I spent an enormous amount of time researching monsters, looking for quirky characteristics, and trying to include some little-known creatures along with the better-known.

MONSTERS was the second book I sold, back in 1998. I was thrilled to be matched with the very talented David Small, but -- as with my first book -- a bit shocked to learn the book wouldn't come out until late 2003. Of course, now that I can see David's wonderfully humorous paintings, I know it was well worth the wait.

Teaching Themes: monsters, mythology and folklore, world geography, poetry and rhyme, humor, Halloween. For poetry teaching ideas during National Poetry Month in April--and throughout the year--visit


Brand New
"A go-to source of calm and comfort." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
In Print
"Altogether delightful." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Excellent advice in a sweet and easy-to-swallow package." KIRKUS
"A memorable first skate by an irresistible imp." Starred review, KIRKUS
"Ashman's concept is both sophisticated and delightful." KIRKUS
"Beautifully crafted and satisfying." Starred Review, BOOKLIST
"Kids will love the colorful paintings while parents will appreciate that it's chock full of facts about the Centennial State." VAIL DAILY
A "lovely reverie on the joys of being alive and being loved." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"As pithy and clever as Ogden Nash at his best." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A splendid bedtime fantasy." KIRKUS
Other Titles
"Ashman's poetic portraits are packed with lots of tasty assonance and alliteration." Starred Review, PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Quirky, sarcastic, and rather educational, too." BOOKLIST
"A 10 on the "aw"-inspiring scale." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"A family outing gone hilariously awry." BOOKLIST
"A rip-roaring, exciting excursion." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
An "enchanting ride." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"The clever, rhyming text bounces along with perfect cadence." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A riotous adventure." HORN BOOK MAGAZINE
"Vibrant, playful text . . . excellent for storytimes." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"A hilarious look at the world through the sharp eyes and nose of a dog." SCRIPPS HOWARD NEWS SERVICE
"This one's a keeper." SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
"Youngsters will find nothing but comfort in these pages." KIRKUS
"Ashman captures the non-stop action in rollicking rhyme." KIRKUS
A "captivating collaboration." Starred Review, KIRKUS
"A lighthearted look at bad behavior." KIRKUS
Wagmore is "a charming, gentle hero." KIRKUS REVIEWS