I made clear in my last post that I really don’t like the gory aspects of Halloween and am not too keen on monsters. I gotta say there are some really fun and clever monster picture books out there, however. I’ve said before how in awe I am of those who come up with such creative and inspiring books for children. There’s a real art to writing these kinds of books. I’m hoping to write a picture book some day but am still trying to come up with just the right idea. Well, the authors in the books I’m about to mention, definitely found that right idea.
My favorite Halloween picture book this year is THE MONSTERS’ MONSTER. I absolutely love this book! Here’s the story line: Some little monsters decide to combine their efforts and create the biggest, scariest monster ever. And sure enough, they come up with one frightful-looking dude. With a little help from a lightening strike, he comes to life. They’re ecstatic! But then their homemade monster just won’t cooperate. He doesn’t act at all like a monster should act. This feel good book is written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, the well-known creator of the Mutts cartoons. I know he’s written other picture books including the award winning, Me Jane, which I have on my list of things to order but haven’t read yet. The Monster’s Monster, however, is definitely a winner.
Another winner is CRANKENSTEIN. (Samantha Berger/Dan Santat) You can pretty much guess that this is about a cranky “monster.” I wonder if the author came up with the monster’s name first, and that the story just sort of developed from there. It’s one of those-– Wish I’d thought of that! books. And haven’t we all felt like “Crankensteins?”
I just ordered another couple of copies of I NEED MY MONSTER (Amanda Noll/Howard McWilliam) which is hard for me to keep in stock at my booth at Quilted Bear. I suspect it’s because of its whimsical cover. And well, it’s just a cute concept.
BECAUSE I’M THE DAD (Ahmet Zappa /Dan Santat) which features monster characters, is filled with silly, and heart-warming scenes and is another clever book, as is THE MONSTORE, (Tara Lazar/James Burk) which is about a store that provides monsterly needs. But then Zack, the main character, finds out there are no refunds or exchanges. Don’t you hate when that happens?
And who can resist the old classic, Sesame Street’s THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK which is now out in a board book and which features “lovable, furry, old Grover.” Almost as cute is the follow up: ANOTHER MONSTER AT THE END OF THE BOOK where Elmo shows up as well. (also out in board book)
Okay, I guess there are a few monsters I like.
I’m not only in awe of, but also grateful that there are people out there who use their talents and creativity to make life so fun and uplifting for our children and grandchildren.