Not Yeti by Kelly DiPucchio

Not Yeti by Kelly DiPucchio
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Monsters are loud. And rude. They like to smash things and they always need to be right. But not Yeti. Yeti bakes banana bread and sings to whales and always has a nice word to say. But sometimes you find yourself alone when you’re different. And Yeti doesn’t know there’s a special surprise in store for him.

Anyone can change if they really want to.

It was refreshing to read about a monster who was gentle and loving instead of scary. Yeti spent his days making the world a better place for others, from crocheting sweaters for penguins to protecting baby turtles right after they hatched. I adored this character as soon as I met him and looked forward to seeing if his dreams would come true for him.

The ending felt abrupt and confusing to me, especially since this tale was written for such a young audience. While I soon understood the point the author was attempting to make, it was vague enough that I would have felt compelled to explain it if I’d been reading this to a small child. I found myself wishing that the narrator had been more forthright about the benefits of being different and choosing to be kind even if others don’t make the same choice.

Yeti’s character development was handled beautifully. The reader soon learned that he hadn’t always been a nice monster, and the explanation for how and why he’d changed was well worth reading. What made this even more interesting to me were the unpleasant interactions he had with a couple of other monsters. He could have so easily slipped back into old habits, and yet he stuck to his principles no matter how others tried to provoke him. What a great role model he was for anyone who is trying to fix a bad habit or personality flaw.

Not Yeti was a thought-provoking read.

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