Friday, February 20, 2015

The Problem with NOT Being Scared of Monsters

The Problem with NOT Being Scared of Monsters
by Dan Richards; illus. by Robert Neubecker
32 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2014

themes: family, siblings, monsters

"The problem with NOT being scared of monsters is...
they think you're on of them." And that, it turns out, can be a real problem. Because they eat your cereal - and your homework, wear your favorite pajamas, and making walking home a real drag.
"Walking home is a drag."

What I like about this book: It's fun - and funny. These monsters remind me of needy pets... or younger friends that just want to hang out with you all the time and do what you do. But not well-trained (eating homework) and with no boundaries (taking your favorite PJs). And then they keep you awake at night with their fears (no, I won't spoil it....).

The other thing I like (but Kirkus didn't) is how the kid foists this rambunctious horde of monsters off on his younger brother. Really! What little kid wouldn't want some friendly monsters to hang out with.... at least for awhile.

Dan Richards already has a follow-up book due out this fall. Monsters have issues, too, he says - like trying to make friends with children who just keep running away screaming.

Beyond the Book - there are so many great stories about Monsters, from the truly scary to the gregarious rumpus-makers in Where the Wild Things Are.

Go on a Monster Field Trip: head to the library and find as many monster books as you can. Take them home and study them. What kinds of monsters are there?

Now grab your sketchbook and take "field notes". Draw some of the different kinds of monsters from the books. Note important things such as: kinds of food they eat, the sort of habitat they live in, what kinds of games they play. If you'd rather, make a poster of "monster diversity" in books.

Make a Monster Mask from a large paper bag. Have fun!

Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) over at  Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from the publisher.


  1. What a humorous choice. I like the theme about learning boundaries with children (and monsters). The cover speaks volumes! Such an important topic. Great activities. Kids love monster books.

  2. Nice twist on the monster-child dynamic. Love the illustration! It's on my TBR list now. Thanks!

  3. Ha! This looks very cute! I like this take on monsters -- what a great idea. This looks like a lot of fun to read. Thank you for the recommendation and Happy Friday!

  4. This sounds like a great twist on a monster story. And I would fob anything off on my younger brother!

  5. I have read this one, and also loved it. Great choice, Sue!

  6. Cute, Cute!! Are monsters supposed to be cute?! I don't know! But this tale sounds pretty funny! I'll be checking it out! Thanks!!

  7. This book sounds so fun, Sue! And as always, I love your activities - so inventive! :) Thanks so much for sharing!

  8. This looks wonderful. I'm ready to go on a monster field trip! Awesome idea. Hope the library has this one.