Artist Spotlights, Author Spotlights, Book Reviews, Our Homeschooling Space

A Monster’s Bad Rap Children’s Book Review + Author & Illustrator Spotlight

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Have you heard of A Monster’s Bad Rap?

This children’s book has just been released and it is a fun, easy to read, rhyming book that has been lovingly written and illustrated by Kelly Grettler and Nataly Cohn. It is a touching story, great for those who have children that may be afraid of monsters in the closet or under the bed, also fun for any child who likes the idea of monsters!

This story shares the truth about our bedroom monsters, and how they are misunderstood and are not to be feared. The only thing these cute, multicolored monsters want, is to try on your shoes! They hope to stay and do not want to be sent away out into the cold, without hats or shoes.



We love this book and all my children have really enjoyed reading A Monster’s Bad Rap. This book is wonderful to read at bedtime, and my 4-year-old and 8-year-old have both had a blast reading this with me over the last two weeks. My youngest loves to count the monster’s eyes, and really likes thinking that the monsters are funny and happy, instead of scary. I am glad to read this book with my youngest as he has yet to really show fear towards monsters, and now he knows they are fun and friendly.



My oldest had trouble with the dark in the past, and this book has come in handy for her because she loved that the monsters are only wanting to try on her shoes. She enjoys reading this book at bedtime and adores the illustrations.



This story really sparked creativity in her, and she enjoyed creating a clay ballet shoe, with a cute bow, to keep in her room, waiting for her bedroom monster to play with. It has been such a fun book to read in our homeschool!



The monsters in this story are really telling us not to fear them, and the artwork by Nataly Cohn is endearing and fun, and it speaks to my children about emotions, feelings and how we may be overreacting to our fears. Showing these monsters in a new light, such as the tooth fairy or superheroes that have angelic personalities, we give this book two thumbs up!


You can find this book for sale on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Etsy for Signed Copies!



It’s Monster Week at Scissors&Glue!

This first week of October, we will be sharing our favorite Monster Cookie Recipe, as well as our How-to Guide for creating your very own Monster Play Dough Kit, to enjoy at home while reading this book, plus FREE printables! These have been created by myself and Kelly Grettler, just for you, to go along with reading A Monster’s Bad Rap!

Grab your Free Copy of Our Monster Theme Pack Today!

Includes; Monster Cookie Recipe, Monster Play Dough Recipe, Kit directions, Party Kit Printable, and a Monster Story Writing Prompt!

Monster Cookie Recipe Inspired by A Monster's Bad Rap


Now for our Spotlights! Let me introduce you to Kelly Grettler!


Author Spotlight: Kelly Grettler

Kelly Grettler was born and raised in Northern Virginia and now lives in Texas with her family. She first realized her joy for writing during middle school when she won a candy bar for writing the best short story in her class. Kelly recalls that her English teacher, Mr. Timm was the first person who encouraged her to could write. She knows how important hearing positive words about writing are for children, and she always has a positive voice during her storytimes held all around the community, where she reads her latest books to children.

Since growing up, she has married, moved to Texas, and has raised two boys of her own, whom she gets to encourage in all aspects of their lives while being a loving mom and wife. Her love and inspiration for writing blossomed even more with having her children, and they have sparked a lot of inspiration for many of the eight children’s books that she has written.

Kelly with her family at the launch of her book “Sweet Tea by the Live Oak Tree” at Barnes & Noble. Photo Donated by Kelly Grettler.

My sons were a constant supply of inspiration and still are! Factor in those endless rounds of singing “hush little baby” when they were babies (making up new lyrics as I went) and I got pretty good at rhyming.”

Kelly loves writing little rhymes and is so talented at it. She can take a concept, and create a beautiful rhyme within minutes! I have witnessed this first hand, while we have been collaborating together creating the free printables we wanted to share along with her latest book release, A Monster’s Bad Rap.

A Monster’s Bad Rap it is an adorable rhyming story, where Kelly shares the truth about our closet monsters, and how they are not to be feared. She recalls how this story has been a part of her since she was a little girl, which I really love! The story goes, she had a closet monster for many years growing up, and at one point she remembers beginning to receive Christmas and birthday gifts from him!

Kelly says that “In doing so, my parents we able to creatively shift my perspective from fear to endearment, so that is what I hope to do with this book.”

I believe she has done a very lovely job, because my daughter has found this book very helpful for her, and we read it every night at bedtime now. My 4-year-old son too really enjoys this book, and loves rhymes!

My kids all loved creating their own Monsters with our Monster Building Play Dough Kit, and eating Yummy Monster Cookies, all of which we will be sharing with you this week, inspired by this book!


Inspiration hits at the oddest times

Kelly enjoys writing and becomes inspired to write at the most sporadic times. She will need to jot them down, so she does not forget them. She recalls how they come to her in the middle of the night, while she is driving, in the shower, or any place other than staring at a computer screen.

“Once I feel like I’ve got a decent amount of these notes, I’ll sit down, pen to paper, and start putting them together and from there, I type them up into Word, where I’ll tweak and edit until I think it’s perfect.” She loves to write poetic children’s books, written in various versions of an Anapestic tetrameter.  “I tend to write with a nostalgic sort of vibe, and I try to evoke that feeling within my readers.”

She has been married for 26 years and along with their two boys, they also have two dogs and two cats. She feels blessed to be a stay at home mom, and she cannot believe it has been almost 17 years since her oldest was born.

Kelly has shared that the best thing about being an author is seeing kids enjoying her books, and it makes her heart so very happy and she relates her written creations like they are her children.

Photo Of Kelly with young girls and their artwork after a storytime reading of ‘Sweet Tea by the Live Oak Tree.’ Photo Donated by Kelly Grettler.

“It kind of feels like you have more kids, with each book. They are like your children, part of you, and you labor to deliver them, then you want the best for them, are protective of them, and your heart smiles when you see them making others happy. I love being able to see kids enjoying my books! But I think my most favorite moments are when I am told that, after meeting me and reading my books, a child has decided that they want to grow up and become an Author. For me, this is the icing.” ~ Kelly Grettler, Children’s Book Author

Kelly’s Advice for Young Students interested in Writing:

“Get yourself a journal, grab a pen, and just write.  Every day.  Write whatever comes to mind, don’t worry about editing, just write.  Doing this will open up those creative juices, where the good stuff is waiting to come out! Save whatever you write that you feel holds potential, because there is no time limit on getting them published.  If you believe in them, then don’t ever give up on them!” ~ Kelly Grettler, Children’s Book Author

Find more from Kelly Grettler:




Sign up for her Newsletter + participate in her Giveaways

Shop Kelly Grettler’s Books:


Barnes & Noble

Etsy for Signed Copies


It has truly been my pleasure getting to know Kelly Grettler for this review, and I can say she is a good friend. Her books have been really lovely to read, and my children have enjoyed them as well. I look forward to reviewing more of her books, over this next year. Now, let me introduce to you, the Illustrator of this book…



Illustrator Spotlight: Nataly Cohn

Nataly Cohn with Kelly Grettler at a Story Time with a Monster’s Bad Rap.

Nataly Cohn was born in North Carolina and now lives in Texas with her mom, dad, and brother. She has two dogs, a cat, and a fish. She loves art and music and plans to be an art teacher when she is older.

She recalls as a young child always being given crayons, markers, colored pencils and paper to color on. However, most always preferred to draw on the walls and the floor! Having art around her from a young age, was the foundation of her journey to becoming an Artist and now for the first time, a Children’s Book Illustrator.

“My art teacher Mr. Russell saw I had a liking for art and encouraged me to go to a regional art competition called VASE, that was one of the greatest experiences of my life, seeing what kids my age could do with colored pencils and markers. I was immediately inspired and that night after the competition (which I surprisingly medaled in) I went home and started doing more and more art. soon after I realized I wanted to pursue a career in it. What a better way to do that than to be able to inspire the youth by teaching it?”

The types of art Nataly enjoys creating range from many types, from photography, music, to watercolor paintings and colored pencils and marker drawings. She says a ruler is one of the best tools she enjoys using often and is very handy to have! 

The inspiration for Illustrating A Monster’s Bad Rap

“I found inspiration for the artwork from my childhood, and from being afraid of the dark, and being afraid of mosnters in my closet. I was able to go back to my childhood and think of how I wish I would have seen them, so I was able to make the monsters seem kind and safe.”

We can definitely see that in the artwork with this story, and my children really love all of the illustrations! The small details she has placed in the pages are fun to search for with my children, and how she expresses emotion in all the characters faces, is really great.

My favorite details from A Monster’s Bad Rap + Nataly’s artwork:

  1. The purple monster wearing the pink ballet shoes, while holding the hand of the blue monster. The look on the blue monsters face is super chill, and the purple monster is up high on her tip-toes and they look as if they are having a very lovely time.

2. The look on the green monster’s face when the child calls out for DAD!? This look is really humorous to me, and it leads to a lot of fun discussion with my kids about how the monster might be feeling, and thinking at this moment.


3. And of course, dad’s classic asleep face when he enters the room. We all can relate to this image, of a poor tired daddy, still half asleep and unsure of what’s wrong.



4.  Seeing the monsters as superheroes, as depicted in one of the first pages of the book, which is so fun, and has given many smiles to my children, for sure!


Nataly Loves to Create

She finds inspiration for her current artwork from other artist’s work, as well as the beauty in the people around her and in her life. She says that sometimes she will start an art piece as a joke and then gets a great idea for it, and it becomes something else. This reminds me of the quote from Pablo Picasso, where he said, “I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.”

“Most of my art comes from seeing something that to me is beautiful or aesthetic and I usually draw people. I never really finish artwork, I just get to a point where I don’t see what I can add to it to make it better.”

Nataly loves the freedom that comes with being an artist and enjoys being able to take our her art supplies anywhere she is, and simple draw. Nataly says, ‘It is the best because you can really do whatever you want with artwork and everyone will interpret it differently. It’s your artwork and it’s so liberating.’

You can find more of Nataly’s Artwork on her Instagram art page @nataly.cohn.arts 

Nataly’s Advice to Young Artists:

“Just do it. Draw and paint as much as you can and even if it looks bad now remember that’s just progress for how good it will look. You won’t get better if you don’t continue working at it. And NEVER throw away your art work EVER even if you think it’s trash don’t, because when you’re able to look back and see how much you’ve grown you’ll be so proud and actually see your efforts were for something.”


It was so lovely getting to know Artist Nataly Cohn and learning more about her inspirations for being the artist that she is!

I hope that this spotlight has been inspiring to those parents with kids who are interested in writing and illustrating. Thank you for reading and please check back on Wednesday for our favorite Monster Cookies Recipe!

Till next time,

Breathe deeply and enjoy building your masterpiece with scissors and glue, and monsters too,



If you enjoyed this book review and spotlight, you may also enjoy one of these:

The Best Fairy Book Series Review + Author Spotlight: Bobbie Hinman

Nonni’s Moon Book Review & Spotlight: Julia Inserro

Artist Spotlight: Sol Felpeto + Picasso Pet Art Project

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3 thoughts on “A Monster’s Bad Rap Children’s Book Review + Author & Illustrator Spotlight”

  1. Oh my goodness, my heart is full.
    Alexandra, thank you for this wonderful write up! Your blog is such a source of joy and inspiration, I’m truly honored to be featured here!
    I adore seeing the pictures of your sweet kiddos enjoying my book & love hearing how it’s been inspiring them!
    Much love,
    Kelly Grettler

    1. You are so very welcome Kelly, it has truly been our pleasure, thank you so much for your kind words! We just adore your latest children’s book! So glad to spotlight you and your book this week ? Hugs, Alexandra

    2. Thank you Kelly, it was so much fun reading your book, and seeing how it inspired my kids, and gave them happy smiles regarding monsters, instead of frowns. We really love it! ❤️

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