(Belated) May Book of the Month: Spike the Mixed up Monster

Well, I have some catching up to do… Summer is a busy time for me, I got behind.

I’ll start with the back-logged May book of the month: Spike the Mixed Up Monster, by Susan Hood and Melissa Sweet.


I try to stay away from too many children’s books as books of the month, because the point is to recommend a fulfilling read… but some children’s books fit that category.

I was given this book for my birthday (because salamanders). I saw the cover and thought “oh, how nice, a cute book about an axolotl.” It’s so much more. This book is a super-amazing-adorable-made-me-pout-my-lip-at-its-cuteness book. It really is a must have for any good salamander enthusiast.

The book is about Spike, a super cute Mexican axolotl (all characters must be read with the appropriate accent, as they speak some Spanish) who thinks he is a horrifying monster. He tries very hard to scare everyone, but can’t because… well… he’s super cute. A real monster visits his lake and he learns a heartwarming lesson that will make the reader fill up with the warm fuzzies.

The end of the book shows pictures of all the real animals illustrated in the books, talks about their life histories and a little about conservation. It also has translations for the Spanish terms.

I am making the story sound sickeningly cute, but trust me, it’s the other kind of cute. You know, the aggressive kind of cute that makes you want to hug something too tight. As much as I like to deny that I succumb to that kind of cuteness, an adorable salamander drawing will do it for me every time. Look at that one of Spike drooping his gills. Too cute.

It doesn’t matter what age you are, you will enjoy Spike the Mixed Up Monster. I have a feeling adults will enjoy it more than the children.