Tuesday, November 8, 2016
PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Hey, That's My Monster/Quit Calling Me a Monster
ABOUT THE BOOK
When Ethan looks under the bed for his monster, he finds this note instead: “So long, kid. Gotta go. Someone needs me more than you do. –Gabe” How will Ethan ever get to sleep without his monster’s familiar, comforting snorts? And who could need Gabe more than Ethan does? Gabe must have gone to Ethan’s little sister’s room! She has been climbing out of bed every night to play, and obviously needs a monster to help her get to sleep – but not HIS monster! Ethan tries to help his sister find her own monster, but none are the perfect blend of cute and creepy. Just when it seems that Ethan will lose his monster forever, an uninvited, tutu-toting little monster full of frightening fun appears. Following in the spooky-silly tradition of I Need My Monster, here’s another irresistible monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers.
Hey, That's My Monster makes a great read-a-loud. With plenty of opportunities to use different voices, and different tones and loudness and softness, this book leads readers on a Monsters, Inc. type story. Ethan is devastated when he learns his monster has left him to help his younger sister. In a desperate attempt to get his monster back, Ethan tries to find another monster for his sister. But none of the monsters that come to visit are quite right, Emma wants to play with them rather than let them scare her into bed. It's difficult for a book to be a combination of creepy and funny, but somehow this book and its prequel (I Need My Monster) manage to do it. The illustrations are gorgeous and delightful with each monster truly unique (I really wouldn't want eight drippy noses myself, but Emma enjoys wiping them). Every class I read this book too, loved it. I even had one class beg to have me read it the next week, and they applauded after I did. That's the first time I've ever had a class do that. This one is truly a winner for that young reader/listener who enjoys a touch of creepiness with the funny.
ABOUT THE BOOK
The talented creators of I Will Chomp You! brilliantly frame the struggle to buck stereotypes and learn empathy in this monster’s hilarious lament.
Floyd Peterson is so much more than shaggy purple fur and pointy monster teeth — why can’t people just see him for him? Jory John and Bob Shea have struck gold in creating a knee-slapping, read-it-again story that will start a valuable discussion about how we treat others and how it feels to be seen as “different.”
With all the concern currently about stereotypes and all that happens to perpetuate them, it's refreshing to see a take on the subject that is so very enjoyable. Floyd Peterson is very clearly a monster (even he admits it at one point in the story, although very reluctantly). He looks like a monster, he sometimes behaves like a monster, although he claims that that is inadvertent. But despite it all, he does not like being called a monster. In a hilarious narrative, Floyd explains that he doesn't like people being scared of him (even though he does sleep in closets and under beds) and seriously prefers to be called Floyd Peterson. It's difficult though to look at this purple-furred, glow-in-the-dark sharp smiled, horned creature and call him Floyd Peterson. One of the funniest parts is when Floyd compares his sleeping habits to a child who is snoring and green-faced. The children I read this too just busted up in giggles. And the end, well, let's just say the ending is as perfect an ending as I've ever seen. A truly delightful book that in an unobtrusive way lets readers know that it's important to respect others wishes in what they are called and how they are seen and treated. This book is a real treat from start to finish.