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How to Keep Monsters Out of Your Room by Catie Cat (Book Review)

Dru has monsters in his room! After several attempts, he finally figures out how to get rid of them! This rhyming picture book includes a project so YOU can get rid of YOUR monsters too! Afraid of the dark + problem solver.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Every night, kids worldwide fear the possibility of a monster lurking under their bed or in the closet. They sleep with lights on, fearing what could creep out from the shadows if they are left in complete darkness. Dru, like so many other young children, has difficulty falling asleep due to fear and anxiety over bedroom “creatures.” 

Due to vivid imaginations, every monster’s appearance varies to some degree. Dru’s unwelcomed guest has large, pointy teeth and green bulging eyes. He looked like a cross between a wolf and a dragon. I can understand why the beast was causing such a fright. I applaud the artist’s skills. Each page looked like a painting.

Dru yelled at the beast to leave his room immediately, but his demands went unannounced. He then remembered the warning signs he’d seen with his mom and recalled their meanings. No left turns. No dogs allowed. No cell phones. Everyone followed these signs and more, promptly Dru to have an ingenious idea. He knew how to keep the monsters out of his room for good! 

Children will witness Dru’s plan in action. They’ll cheer at his success. Then, after the story’s conclusion, they can follow Dru’s instructions and make a “No Monsters Allowed” sign to hang up anywhere in their room. 

When bedtime calls, kids can’t help but fear darkened corners, what supposedly is waiting under their bed, or what else is in their closet besides toys and clothes. How to Keep Monsters Out of Your Room aims to teach kids how to scare “monsters” away so they can get a peaceful night’s sleep. I think everyone will agree that is a great end goal!

Studies show that fear of darkness begins around the age of two; therefore, I recommend sharing the picture book with children as young as two. I also recommend creating your monster “stop” sign. 

Let’s squash those fears before they keep anyone up all night! 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:  ❤❤

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Meet the Author 

Catherine Castoro (Catie Cat) is an author and illustrator. How to Keep Monsters Out of Your Room is her third children’s book. Published Adult non-fiction: THE FERRY TO DUBLIN, January 2018 edition of The Ocotillo Review. She has two grown children and lives with her husband in Austin, Texas.

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Darkest Hours: Expanded Edition by Mike Thorn (Book Review)

cover image / art by Mikio Murakami


Between the covers of Darkest Hours, you will find academics in distress; humans abusing monsters; demons terrorizing people; ghostly reminiscences; resurrected trauma; and occult filmmaking. Ranging from satirical to dreadful, these sixteen stories share a distinct voice: urgent, sardonic, and brutal.  

This expanded edition includes a new foreword by Sadie Hartmann (Mother Horror) and author notes for every story describing Thorn’s process, influences, and more. This updated release also features seventeen of Thorn’s essays on horror cinema, which cover films by Tobe Hooper, George A. Romero, Rob Zombie, M. Night Shyamalan, Wes Craven, and Dario Argento, among others.   


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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


When I look at anthologies (multiple authors) or a compilation of works by a single author, I hope to walk away loving 1/2 of the short stories. With Darkest Hours: Expanded Edition by Mike Thorn, 11 out of the 16 horror tales scored a 4 or 5. That’s huge! It just shows you how well Mike Thorn crafted each storyline. 

Each story caused various reactions from me. Here are some examples:


HairAs a germaphobe, the idea of hair getting in my food or the possibility of eating hair is nightmarish. Ugh, just thinking about it makes my stomach turn. However, the inquisitive part of me wanted to know about hair fetishes. Oh my word, my browser history would raise some eyebrows. Curiosity made me read about hair eating (trichophagia), Rapunzel Syndrome (basically, hairballs), trichophia, and pubephilia. I’ll let readers of my review look those up for themselves. 🙂

While the plot 100% disturbed me and grossed me out, I was fascinated by the medical information surrounding the perversion to hair. 

Economy These DaysThis story wasn’t gory or horrific. It was, however, very plausible. In desperate times, people will do anything for money. So, I can absolutely fathom someone using their body as a punching bag. $450 a day, $2,250 a week, 9K a month, that amount of money is too irresistible to resist. Economy These Days made me wonder what I would do if there were no hope in sight. What would be my price? 

Lucio Schluter: In real life, humans are the real monsters of the world. They are the ones who abduct, inflict pain, suffering, torture, and kill. Every adult has probably watched at least one documentary of a famous serial killer, so you know the horrors that lurk in this world. For me, when Mike Thorn writes about plausible scenarios, that’s the stories that haunt me the most. The ones I won’t soon forget. 


Quick responses to 5 more stories featured in the Darkest Hours: Expanded Edition:


I’m never camping, thanks to Fusion!!! 

Mirrors are overrated, so I have no issue tossing all of mine in the trash. The possible result if I don’t is scary as shit! (Story, Long Man)

Mired: The absolute horror of the story was the blob eating all the textbooks. 😀

I’ve had many conversations about ghosts, so I loved the philosophical and theoretical discussions in Speaking of Ghosts. I wouldn’t want to face the actual outcome presented in the tale. Nope, I like to live in a world in hypotheticals. Leave the “seeing is believing” for other folks. 🙂

Mike Thorn ended the compilation with a fascinating tale. It’s a story through the eyes of a ghost. Remembering Absence wasn’t gory. It was another “thinker” story. While I love a good gory tale, I found this type of story sticks with you much longer because you’ll find yourself talking about the possibility of such an occurrence with your friends. 


After reading the sixteen stories, I learned several important facts.

No sober person had any supernatural encounters. Nothing good happens after dark, so stay the F*** home. Oh, and mirrors are evil so get rid of them! Now! 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤


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Mike Thorn is the author of the short story collection Darkest Hours. His fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, anthologies and podcasts, including Vastarien, Dark Moon Digest, The NoSleep Podcast, Tales to Terrify, and Prairie Gothic. His film criticism has been published in MUBI Notebook, The Film Stage, and Vague Visages. He completed his M.A. with a major in English literature at the University of Calgary, where he wrote a thesis on epistemophobia in John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness.

Connect with him on Twitter (@MikeThornWrites) or visit his website for more information: mikethornwrites.com.

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