The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber and illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds starts with an acrostic poem defining monsters: M for Mean, O for Observant, etc. However, one day, a monster loses his “M” for mean, and he struggles to find his place in the monster community. Now downgraded to an “Onster,” he is banished.
Pretty soon, Onster finds a place in a new community, with kids, and no matter what he tries, he can’t seem to bring the “mean” back into his life. In the end, what other people think doesn’t matter. As a monster story, it is delightful; as a “find yourself” story, where a child may recognize that giving in to the group is not always the best solution, it is perfect. Finally, although it’s written in rhyme, it’s so well done that it is never awkward and barely noticeable: it simply flows as a wonderful read-aloud. My son and I liked rereading this many times.