Friday, October 04, 2019

Bedtime Backstory: How I Met My Monster by Amanda Noll

One night, when I reached under my bed for my truck, I found a this note instead:



Ha! I don't believe in monsters!

My parents were obviously trying to make me stay in my bed!

Ethan is not deterred. He peers with great interest under his bed and is rewarded by the sight of five pairs of glowing eyes blinking back at him.

Oh, WOW! All thoughts of sleep vanish.
"This is no trick! There ARE monsters under my bed!"

This is COOL. But Monster Master Zee seems displeased with his apprentices for breaking Monster Rule #1: Maintain the element of surprise! Apparently scaring the kid into bed and keeping him there is job one for nighttime monsters.

Four of the motley little monsters fail at roaring and scaring Ethan back into bed. But Gabe, a big green monster, stares at Ethan's toes hungrily. His stomach rumbles. He starts dripping quantities of green drool....
I sprang into my bed.

This was SO much better than playing with my truck!

And that's the story of how a beautiful bedtime partnership began, in Amanda Noll's How I Met My Monster (I Need My Monster) (Flashlight Press, 2019), the backstory to her popular bedtime bogeyman stories, I Need My Monster and Hey, That's MY Monster! (I Need My Monster) (see reviews here).

Author Noll certainly provides the impetus for getting kids to hop in bed and stay there, but the droll, big-eyed Ethan and the pseudo-dreadful monsters under the bed done up believably by artist Howard McWilliam in pencil and acrylic make this series prime monster fodder for Halloween, --not to mention anytime bedtime stories for kids who need a reason to keep their feet in bed, well out of the way of what's under there. Says Kirkus reviews with a wink and nod, "Frightful and delightful: a comforting (to some, anyway) reminder that no one sleeps alone," and Booklist adds, "Reminiscent of the Pixar film Monsters, Inc..., for those children who are ready for a little scare, this is a clever, fun romp."



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