The Monster in the Mailbox

T. E. Watson

Paradise author Tom Watson’s second book for children, following I Wanna Iguana, is a fun tale about a 12-year-old girl, Cynthia, who teasingly tells her 7-year-old brother, Timmy, that a monster lurks in the mailbox, threatening to pull anyone who reaches in down to his “dark home at the bottom.” When the mailman goes on vacation, Timmy thinks the monster has made him disappear, increasing his fear. The story is fitting for its intended age group (7-12), with nicely done watercolor illustrations by Mari and Linus Lancaster. My 7-year-old son liked the book. It deals sympathetically and respectfully with the power of a child’s imagination to conjure scary scenarios. When Timmy finally learns that the monster isn’t “real,” he’s greatly relieved. But it’s hard not to think that the price paid for that relief—in lost imaginative powers—may be too high.