{"id":8023207182573,"title":"Not a Monster","handle":"not-a-monster","description":"\u003ch6\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/h6\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/claudia-guadalupe-martinez\"\u003eClaudia Guadalupe Martínez \u003c\/a\u003e\/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/laura-gonzalez\"\u003eLaura González\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003eWith Spanish vocabulary and a clever color concept, this poetic picture book shares the life cycle of beloved amphibian—the axolotl—in its natural habitat.\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAn axolotl may look like one, but it is certainly Not a Monster. This curious creature, made popular by Minecraft, is actually a salamander that will never lose its gills or fins. Not a Monster explores the traits of the axolotl, the Aztec origin myth about the species, and the way pollution is affecting its natural habitat: the canals of Xochimilco in Mexico City. \u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eFun and engaging, this playful and informative read-aloud introduces curious readers on one cool character who is NOT a monster!\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/products\/not-a-bean\"\u003eNot a Bean\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/products\/13-ways-to-eat-a-fly\"\u003e13 Ways to Eat a Fly\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-spread.jpg?v=1667585925\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e \u003cscript src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-shape=\"round\" defer async=\"\" type=\"text\/javascript\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eClaudia Guadalupe Martinez, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eClaudia Guadalupe Martínez grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives with her husband and 3 children in Chicago.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/claudia-guadalupe-martinez\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Claudia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eLaura Gonzalez, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/laugonzalez.com\/\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Laura.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eComing soon!\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?4673889858015672850\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDeep in a murky, azul-tinged body of water, the axolotl swims under the cover of the moon.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAlong a canal near an unspecified city “that was once a great empire,” an egg grows and transforms; the creature inside gains fins, gills, and a bit more before it hatches into a tadpole. Four long limbs soon sprout, and the creature’s color deepens into an inky black. It scours for food beneath “los lirios rosados” (pink water lilies), resting under a floating garden. The creature is “Not a Monster”—it’s an axolotl. Martínez devotes the first half of the book to chronicling the axolotl’s life journey—from birth to mating—in eclectic, whimsical strokes, egged on by González’s sublime, earthy artwork. It’s a tenderhearted ode to the water-based salamander. From there, the axolotl’s tale pivots to spotlight the creature’s connection to Xolotl, the Aztec god of monstrous things, said to have leapt into a lake and turned into an axolotl. “Guided by the stories their abuelos have told them,” two friends “row their chalupa morada” into the canals, spearheading cleanup efforts to remove plastic and bottles from the water. The author brilliantly positions the restoration of the endangered axolotl’s natural habitats as a kind of modern rebirth infused with hope. Spanish words pop up throughout this sly call to action, and color words are bolded; definitions are provided in a glossary.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRejoice and rally for the axolotl! (author’s note)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBooklist\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMartínez introduces an amphibian exclusively found in Mexico in this inviting nonfiction picture book, and readers get to watch it grow from a single cell to an axolotl. This unusual salamander is not a monster, though it's described as an \"Aztec god of monstrous things\" that jumped in the water in Aztec mythology. In her artwork, González honors that mythology with Aztec motifs and pictograms tucked into the illustrations, while comprehensively depicting the axolotl's growing phases. Once the axolotl is fully grown, the story introduces two children searching for the mythological creature in the canals. Instead, they find pollution, which threatens the axolotl's habitat, but they help clean the water, eventually revealing a collection of axolotls eggs beginning to hatch. Martínez sprinkles plenty of Spanish words throughout the story, which are defined in a glossary; color terms also appear in their matching hue. The term \"monster\" is used gently, without instilling fear. With beautiful watercolor illustrations, this story compellingly integrates folktales and biology, as well as important facts about environmental awareness.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eChildren's Literature\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the canals around Mexico City swims a creature the ancient Aztec people called the water monster. Then, the canals were a great lake with water pure and blue as the sky. The water monster grew and thrived. But now the once-blue water is murky, polluted by people. As a result, the water monster has begun to disappear. The abuelos say that when the last of the water monsters is gone, it will be the end of paradise. Weaving fact and mythology, this nonfiction picture book tracks the lifecycle of axolotls from egg to full-grown salamander. This book is written for shared reading. In the science classroom, teachers can use the book to encourage discussion about both the lifecycle of this unique salamander and related topics, such as care for the environment and pollution. An up-close read with parents or caregivers will encourage talk of the integrated Spanish words. The tight narrative and large, bright pictures fully engage readers. Once the child and adult have read the book together, the child will be itching to get hands-on and touch the full-color illustrations that accompany the story. Highly recommended for ages three to seven, this bright and beautifully illustrated book is perfect for read-alouds or story time and is truly a standout.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667585925\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-cover-hires.jpg.zip?v=1667585929\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e \u003ca class=\"product-btn\" href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-activity-kit.pdf?v=1676306268\"\u003eDownload the Activity Kit\u003c\/a\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eEnglish Hardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-62354-303-7\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eSpanish Hardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cspan\u003eISBN: 978-1-62354-483-6\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 3–7\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 32\u003cbr\u003e11 x 8 1\/2\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]","published_at":"2023-01-13T09:44:13-05:00","created_at":"2022-11-07T11:49:34-05:00","vendor":"Charlesbridge","type":"Children's Book","tags":["Browse by Age_Ages 3-6","Browse by Age_Ages 6-10","Browse by Fiction\/Nonfiction_Nonfiction","Browse by Format_Picture Book","Browse by Language_English","Browse by Subject_Concept Books","Browse by Subject_Diversity","Browse by Subject_Humor","Browse by Subject_Life Lessons \u0026 Skills","Browse by Subject_Poetry \u0026 Language","Browse by Subject_Story Time \u0026 Play"],"price":1799,"price_min":1799,"price_max":1799,"available":true,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":43471423832301,"title":"Hardcover","option1":"Hardcover","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"43037","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":{"id":38074390446317,"product_id":8023207182573,"position":1,"created_at":"2022-11-07T11:53:34-05:00","updated_at":"2022-11-07T11:53:37-05:00","alt":null,"width":600,"height":464,"src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667840017","variant_ids":[43471423832301]},"available":true,"name":"Not a Monster - Hardcover","public_title":"Hardcover","options":["Hardcover"],"price":1799,"weight":482,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":10,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"9781623543037","featured_media":{"alt":null,"id":30660216422637,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.293,"height":464,"width":600,"src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667840017"}},"requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_allocations":[]},{"id":44242784321773,"title":"Spanish Hardcover","option1":"Spanish Hardcover","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"44836","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":{"id":39019894964461,"product_id":8023207182573,"position":2,"created_at":"2023-09-18T15:24:08-04:00","updated_at":"2023-09-18T15:24:08-04:00","alt":null,"width":600,"height":464,"src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/spanish-not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1695065048","variant_ids":[44242784321773]},"available":true,"name":"Not a Monster - Spanish Hardcover","public_title":"Spanish Hardcover","options":["Spanish Hardcover"],"price":1799,"weight":567,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":10,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"9781623544836","featured_media":{"alt":null,"id":31628759728365,"position":2,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.293,"height":464,"width":600,"src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/spanish-not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1695065048"}},"requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_allocations":[]}],"images":["\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667840017","\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/spanish-not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1695065048"],"featured_image":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667840017","options":["Title"],"media":[{"alt":null,"id":30660216422637,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.293,"height":464,"width":600,"src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667840017"},"aspect_ratio":1.293,"height":464,"media_type":"image","src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667840017","width":600},{"alt":null,"id":31628759728365,"position":2,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":1.293,"height":464,"width":600,"src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/spanish-not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1695065048"},"aspect_ratio":1.293,"height":464,"media_type":"image","src":"\/\/charlesbridgeteen.com\/cdn\/shop\/products\/spanish-not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1695065048","width":600}],"requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_groups":[],"content":"\u003ch6\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/h6\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/claudia-guadalupe-martinez\"\u003eClaudia Guadalupe Martínez \u003c\/a\u003e\/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/laura-gonzalez\"\u003eLaura González\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003eWith Spanish vocabulary and a clever color concept, this poetic picture book shares the life cycle of beloved amphibian—the axolotl—in its natural habitat.\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAn axolotl may look like one, but it is certainly Not a Monster. This curious creature, made popular by Minecraft, is actually a salamander that will never lose its gills or fins. Not a Monster explores the traits of the axolotl, the Aztec origin myth about the species, and the way pollution is affecting its natural habitat: the canals of Xochimilco in Mexico City. \u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003eFun and engaging, this playful and informative read-aloud introduces curious readers on one cool character who is NOT a monster!\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/products\/not-a-bean\"\u003eNot a Bean\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"\/products\/13-ways-to-eat-a-fly\"\u003e13 Ways to Eat a Fly\u003cbr\u003e\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-spread.jpg?v=1667585925\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e \u003cscript src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-shape=\"round\" defer async=\"\" type=\"text\/javascript\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eClaudia Guadalupe Martinez, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eClaudia Guadalupe Martínez grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives with her husband and 3 children in Chicago.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/claudia-guadalupe-martinez\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Claudia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eLaura Gonzalez, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"http:\/\/laugonzalez.com\/\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Laura.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eComing soon!\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?4673889858015672850\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eDeep in a murky, azul-tinged body of water, the axolotl swims under the cover of the moon.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAlong a canal near an unspecified city “that was once a great empire,” an egg grows and transforms; the creature inside gains fins, gills, and a bit more before it hatches into a tadpole. Four long limbs soon sprout, and the creature’s color deepens into an inky black. It scours for food beneath “los lirios rosados” (pink water lilies), resting under a floating garden. The creature is “Not a Monster”—it’s an axolotl. Martínez devotes the first half of the book to chronicling the axolotl’s life journey—from birth to mating—in eclectic, whimsical strokes, egged on by González’s sublime, earthy artwork. It’s a tenderhearted ode to the water-based salamander. From there, the axolotl’s tale pivots to spotlight the creature’s connection to Xolotl, the Aztec god of monstrous things, said to have leapt into a lake and turned into an axolotl. “Guided by the stories their abuelos have told them,” two friends “row their chalupa morada” into the canals, spearheading cleanup efforts to remove plastic and bottles from the water. The author brilliantly positions the restoration of the endangered axolotl’s natural habitats as a kind of modern rebirth infused with hope. Spanish words pop up throughout this sly call to action, and color words are bolded; definitions are provided in a glossary.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eRejoice and rally for the axolotl! (author’s note)\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBooklist\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eMartínez introduces an amphibian exclusively found in Mexico in this inviting nonfiction picture book, and readers get to watch it grow from a single cell to an axolotl. This unusual salamander is not a monster, though it's described as an \"Aztec god of monstrous things\" that jumped in the water in Aztec mythology. In her artwork, González honors that mythology with Aztec motifs and pictograms tucked into the illustrations, while comprehensively depicting the axolotl's growing phases. Once the axolotl is fully grown, the story introduces two children searching for the mythological creature in the canals. Instead, they find pollution, which threatens the axolotl's habitat, but they help clean the water, eventually revealing a collection of axolotls eggs beginning to hatch. Martínez sprinkles plenty of Spanish words throughout the story, which are defined in a glossary; color terms also appear in their matching hue. The term \"monster\" is used gently, without instilling fear. With beautiful watercolor illustrations, this story compellingly integrates folktales and biology, as well as important facts about environmental awareness.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eChildren's Literature\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn the canals around Mexico City swims a creature the ancient Aztec people called the water monster. Then, the canals were a great lake with water pure and blue as the sky. The water monster grew and thrived. But now the once-blue water is murky, polluted by people. As a result, the water monster has begun to disappear. The abuelos say that when the last of the water monsters is gone, it will be the end of paradise. Weaving fact and mythology, this nonfiction picture book tracks the lifecycle of axolotls from egg to full-grown salamander. This book is written for shared reading. In the science classroom, teachers can use the book to encourage discussion about both the lifecycle of this unique salamander and related topics, such as care for the environment and pollution. An up-close read with parents or caregivers will encourage talk of the integrated Spanish words. The tight narrative and large, bright pictures fully engage readers. Once the child and adult have read the book together, the child will be itching to get hands-on and touch the full-color illustrations that accompany the story. Highly recommended for ages three to seven, this bright and beautifully illustrated book is perfect for read-alouds or story time and is truly a standout.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-cover.jpg?v=1667585925\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-cover-hires.jpg.zip?v=1667585929\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\n\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e \u003ca class=\"product-btn\" href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/not-a-monster-activity-kit.pdf?v=1676306268\"\u003eDownload the Activity Kit\u003c\/a\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eEnglish Hardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-62354-303-7\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cmeta charset=\"utf-8\"\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eSpanish Hardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cspan\u003e\u003c\/span\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003cspan\u003eISBN: 978-1-62354-483-6\u003c\/span\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 3–7\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 32\u003cbr\u003e11 x 8 1\/2\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]"}

Not a Monster


By: Claudia Guadalupe Martínez / Illustrated by: Laura González

With Spanish vocabulary and a clever color concept, this poetic picture book shares the life cycle of beloved amphibian—the axolotl—in its natural habitat.

An axolotl may look like one, but it is certainly Not a Monster. This curious creature, made popular by Minecraft, is actually a salamander that will never lose its gills or fins. Not a Monster explores the traits of the axolotl, the Aztec origin myth about the species, and the way pollution is affecting its natural habitat: the canals of Xochimilco in Mexico City. 

Fun and engaging, this playful and informative read-aloud introduces curious readers on one cool character who is NOT a monster!

Maximum quantity available reached.

Claudia Guadalupe Martinez, author

Claudia Guadalupe Martínez grew up in sunny El Paso, Texas where she learned that letters form words from reading the subtitles of old westerns with her father. She now lives with her husband and 3 children in Chicago.

Read more about Claudia.


Laura Gonzalez, illustrator

Read more about Laura.

  • Coming soon!

Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Deep in a murky, azul-tinged body of water, the axolotl swims under the cover of the moon.

Along a canal near an unspecified city “that was once a great empire,” an egg grows and transforms; the creature inside gains fins, gills, and a bit more before it hatches into a tadpole. Four long limbs soon sprout, and the creature’s color deepens into an inky black. It scours for food beneath “los lirios rosados” (pink water lilies), resting under a floating garden. The creature is “Not a Monster”—it’s an axolotl. Martínez devotes the first half of the book to chronicling the axolotl’s life journey—from birth to mating—in eclectic, whimsical strokes, egged on by González’s sublime, earthy artwork. It’s a tenderhearted ode to the water-based salamander. From there, the axolotl’s tale pivots to spotlight the creature’s connection to Xolotl, the Aztec god of monstrous things, said to have leapt into a lake and turned into an axolotl. “Guided by the stories their abuelos have told them,” two friends “row their chalupa morada” into the canals, spearheading cleanup efforts to remove plastic and bottles from the water. The author brilliantly positions the restoration of the endangered axolotl’s natural habitats as a kind of modern rebirth infused with hope. Spanish words pop up throughout this sly call to action, and color words are bolded; definitions are provided in a glossary.

Rejoice and rally for the axolotl! (author’s note)

Booklist

Martínez introduces an amphibian exclusively found in Mexico in this inviting nonfiction picture book, and readers get to watch it grow from a single cell to an axolotl. This unusual salamander is not a monster, though it's described as an "Aztec god of monstrous things" that jumped in the water in Aztec mythology. In her artwork, González honors that mythology with Aztec motifs and pictograms tucked into the illustrations, while comprehensively depicting the axolotl's growing phases. Once the axolotl is fully grown, the story introduces two children searching for the mythological creature in the canals. Instead, they find pollution, which threatens the axolotl's habitat, but they help clean the water, eventually revealing a collection of axolotls eggs beginning to hatch. Martínez sprinkles plenty of Spanish words throughout the story, which are defined in a glossary; color terms also appear in their matching hue. The term "monster" is used gently, without instilling fear. With beautiful watercolor illustrations, this story compellingly integrates folktales and biology, as well as important facts about environmental awareness.

Children's Literature

In the canals around Mexico City swims a creature the ancient Aztec people called the water monster. Then, the canals were a great lake with water pure and blue as the sky. The water monster grew and thrived. But now the once-blue water is murky, polluted by people. As a result, the water monster has begun to disappear. The abuelos say that when the last of the water monsters is gone, it will be the end of paradise. Weaving fact and mythology, this nonfiction picture book tracks the lifecycle of axolotls from egg to full-grown salamander. This book is written for shared reading. In the science classroom, teachers can use the book to encourage discussion about both the lifecycle of this unique salamander and related topics, such as care for the environment and pollution. An up-close read with parents or caregivers will encourage talk of the integrated Spanish words. The tight narrative and large, bright pictures fully engage readers. Once the child and adult have read the book together, the child will be itching to get hands-on and touch the full-color illustrations that accompany the story. Highly recommended for ages three to seven, this bright and beautifully illustrated book is perfect for read-alouds or story time and is truly a standout.

English Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-62354-303-7

Spanish Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-62354-483-6

Ages: 3–7
Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2