by Erica S. Perl
illustrated by Julia Denos
review copy provided by the publisher
"When Ida started school, she took her new lunch box...and Dotty."
Dotty is Ida's red spotted, horned (imaginary) monster friend. And Dotty's not the only monster friend in Ida's classrom -- it is quite full of friends of all sizes and shapes. As the year goes on, however, many of Ida's friends stop bringing their friends to school. When Ida's Dotty gets mad at another girl and pushes her, Ms. Raymond, the teacher, makes both girls write apology notes. After school, Ms. Raymond talks to Ida about Dotty, telling Ida to "explain to Dotty that we don't behave like that at school." When Ms. Raymond goes to get Ida's blue string for Dotty out of her desk, she comes up with a red string...for her own (imaginary) monster, Gert.
This is a sweet story about how imagination is sometimes lost as we grow up, and sometimes never lost at all. Especially not if you teach very young children and your classroom gets crowded with monsters at times.