Get to know the Junior Monster Scouts in this first book in a brand-new chapter book series that’s perfect for fans of Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol and Hotel Transylvania!
Wolfy, Franky, and Vampyra—the children of the classic monsters—are Junior Monster Scouts. And even though ‘monster’ is their middle name, these funny fiends just want to help anybody in need, earn their Junior Monster Scout merit badges, and make friends. But, their good deeds are always foiled by Baron Von Grump, a cranky schemer who doesn’t like noise, doesn’t like kids, and most of all doesn’t like the Junior Monster Scouts.
Peter Piper’s kitten Shadow is lost deep in The Gloomy Forest, and the Scouts want to help their new friend. But today is also the Village Cheese Festival and all of the celebrating has Baron Von Grump at wits’ end. How can he play his violin in peace if the villagers are making such a racket? He hatches a cheesy plan that involves huge and hungry rats! Uh-oh! Can the Scouts save the cats, the rats, and the day?
The Monster Squad CHAPTER 1 WOLFY TOOK A DEEP BREATH. He looked to the sky. He leaned way back and let out the biggest, longest, loudest howl he could. It was a very good howl. It was such a good howl that it went right past the forest, over the covered bridge, through the village, and all the way to the Old Windmill.
“That was a good one!” said Franky Stein.
“I’ll bet they could hear that howl all the way back at the castle!” said Vampyra.
“Thanks!” said Wolfy. He was very proud of himself. Tonight was the Junior Monster Scout meeting, and Wolfy wanted to earn his Howling Merit Badge.
In fact, Wolfy’s howl was such a good howl that it reached right through the open window of the Old Windmill, right into the ears of Baron Von Grump.
Baron Von Grump was always grumpy. Everything about him was grumpy. Even his eyebrows were grumpy. They were like two big, black, bushy, grumpy caterpillars crawling across his forehead. They were even blacker than Edgar, his pet crow.
“What was that noise?” he sneered. “That sounded like a howl. A monstrous howl. Oh, how I despise those wretched monsters!”
Edgar hopped onto the windowsill and peered out over the village. “Caw, caw!” Edgar did not like monsters either.
Baron Von Grump did not like noise. Baron Von Grump did not like anything, really, except for playing his violin and making plans. Baron Von Grump loved making plans. He loved that almost as much as he loved playing his violin.
So you see, Baron Von Grump loved two things. And everything else, he did not. Okay, he loved Edgar, too. Three things. Baron Von Grump loved three things.
Baron Von Grump looked out his window and glared at the village. Edgar glared with him.
Today was the village cheese festival, and all of the villagers were busy setting up.
“Look at them!” he said. “Smiling, talking, singing, why . . . they’re even chewing gum! I cannot stand when people chew gum . . . or sing, or talk, or smile. These villagers are almost as bad as those miserable monsters.”
See? Baron Von Grump did not like anything besides making plans and his violin and Edgar. With all of this noise Baron Von Grump could not concentrate. If he could not concentrate, he could not play his violin. If he could not play his violin, he would become even grumpier than the grump he already was. And that is a lot of grump.
“I have a plan!” he said with a sly smirk.
“Caw! Caw!” said Edgar.
A plan! This made Baron Von Grump happy for one half of a second.
Make a smile. Just a little one. Barely twitch the corners of your mouth. Now stop. That was how long Baron Von Grump was happy. That was not very long, was it?
Edgar hopped onto Baron Von Grump’s shoulder.
Baron Von Grump slammed his shutters closed. He knew just what to do to get rid of all of those smiling, talking, singing, gum-chewing villagers. He knew just how to chase them away.
Joe McGee is the author of the picture books Peanut Butter & Brains, Peanut Butter & Aliens, and Peanut Butter and Santa Claus. Joe is on the faculty of Sierra Nevada College’s Writing for Children and Young Adults low-residency MFA program and teaches English at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College. He is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults as well as the Rowan University Master of Arts in Writing program. He lives in the mountains of West Virginia with his wife (also a children’s author) and their puppy, Pepper. You can find him online at JoeMcGeeAuthor.com and on Twitter @McGeeJP.
Ethan Long is the acclaimed author and illustrator of many books for children, among them the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Up, Tall, and High. He is also the creator of the animated, Emmy-nominated series Tasty Time with ZeFronk, which aired on Disney Junior.