I came across this book called How to Care for Your Monster when I was about 9 or 10 years old. As a kid, there are often cool things which cross your path and capture your attention for a while. Every so often though, you get your hands on something and realize that not only do you think it’s cool now, you know for a fact that you will still think it’s cool even when you’re an adult. And How to Care for Your Monster was one of those things for me.
The book was written and drawn by Nelson Bridwell (the same guy responsible for Clifford the Big Red Dog, I believe). The concept was pretty clever; talking about various types of classic monsters as if they were pets, serving as a guide to the do’s and don’ts of caring for them. The humor is even mildly bent at points, in a way that I’m not sure a modern kids’ book could get away with. I thought this book was great then, and I still think so now!
The drawing above is my attempt (I put the emphasis on the word “attempt”) at trying to capture the style and feel of the illustrations in the book. “Fan art,” kinda. I probably should’ve just drawn this in my own style, but my animation training compelled me to attempt to put it on-model. Still, it was an interesting experiment.
Anyway, it’s a really fun book. If you ever come across a used copy at a reasonable price, give it a look! As a public service, I’m posting a scan at right of the cover of my very own much-loved copy that I’ve hung onto for all these years, so you’ll know what you’re looking for. Don’t say I never did anything for you!
How to Care for Your Monster is ©1970 Norman Bridwell.