Sunday, October 08, 2017

Open With Care! There's a Monster in Your Book! by Tom Fletcher



At this time of year, it seems that monsters are everywhere, but this young monster has even dared to take over a bedtime story.

Oh, he's cute enough, (adorable actually) with his big eyes, his little striped shirt, and his tiny pink horns and pink-tufted tail, but his behavior is far from lovable. HEY, YOU! Stop running amok and ripping my book!

The narrator urges the young reader to help.


But the toddler monster just giggles, bares his baby fangs, and lets his "wild rumpus" begin with reckless abandon. He dashes from page to page. The narrator exhorts the reader to tilt the book from one side to another. The monster loses his footing and clings perilously to the edge of the page. The narrator suggests giving the book a jiggle and a wiggle--with no luck. Finally he suggests a fast spin for the whole book.

Whoa! The little monster is reeling! He's too dizzy to do any damage for a moment. Now's our chance! Make a scary big NOISE!

Oh, no! Where did he go? This isn't working out as planned. Now he's on the loose in the bedroom--at bedtime! That's even worse!


A toddler monster on the loose is way worse than one in a book, in Tom Fletcher's There's a Monster in Your Book (Random House, 2017). In a jolly and funny tale of a metafiction monster, with shades of Maurice Sendak's classic Where the Wild Things Are, the young reader gets the upper hand over his monster, too, even seeing him off to sleep, snuggled between the pages, for a good goodnight after all.

Gary Abbott's winsome little monster is endearingly energetic and a fine alter ego to the toddlers for whom this book is written, as the author and illustrator let him romp and riot for a bit before settling down to "enjoy" this clever bedtime story in the way the parent would prefer. Youngsters will find fun in the gyrations of Fletcher's and Abbott's book and may even take to a bit of a monster hunt in their own bedrooms as well. Says Kirkus in their review, "Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy--a raucus storytime hit!"

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