Tuesday, October 18, 2011

M is for Monster: My favorite Monstrous Storytime Books

It's a wonderful thing to me that Monsters are so en vogue in picture books.  Monster Storytime allows for:

1. A lot of ROARING, STOMPING, and other excellent mischief making.
2. Awesome monster-related crafting
3. Some of the best Children's books out there.

Nearly all of my colleagues have some Farm Animal Storytime or another, yet the monster books go nearly untouched in any month other than October.  But why give Monster books a season?  Where the Wild Things Are is not a Halloween book.  There's a Monster at the End of this Book is a book about Grover from Sesame Street, a program that has shown us that monsters are acceptable for every day consumption by children (or that monsters might consume children every day, whichever you like.)

I have so many Monster Books I love, so I think I'll do this over several posts, 3 books a post.

Monsters Eat Whiny Children by Bruce Eric Kaplan

This one is sort of an Honorable Mention.  Have you ever read a Children's book as an adult and laughed out loud?  It's awesome when it happens, and this book had me laughing so much I struggled to finish reading it to my niece.  Two children are whining and monsters come to eat them.  Unfortunately, the monster's cannot decide how to prepare their whiny children.  They try to put them in a salad, a sandwich, a burger, etc.  One of the lines that had me in stitches was when they wanted to make a nice Whiny Child Vindaloo, but "sometimes it's hard to decide if you want Indian Food or not."
Now, obviously jokes like that are funnier to adults, and I don't mind "adult" humor in children's books because kids are smarter than we sometimes give them credit.  The only problem with this book is that it sways too much for the adults in the room because of the length and the illustrations.  I don't mind a sort of messy, black and white sketchy style, but with a book of this length a child will.  One of those books that's just "almost" there.  Check it out even with the flaws.

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Mo Willems knows monsters and kids.  The man worked on Sesame Street!  The great thing about a lot of his books is that they are wonderful to read but especially great to have read to you.  They lend themselves to performance.  This books is no exception with the monologue Sam has in the middle, which I often try to do quickly and in one breath, the way I figure a child would.  It's also a pretty good story for a "Friendship" storytime, if you are so inclined.

There Was an Old Monster by Rebecca, Adrian, and Ed Emberley

The Emberley's seem to be as fond of monsters as I am since it is time and again the subject of their books.  I could put many on here: Glad Monster, Sad Monster, Go Away Big Green Monster, If You're a Monster and You Know it, etc.  The style of these books is so bold with bright colors contrasted against black that they are always a Storytime favorite, but this one has the line "Ants in his pants" and allows wiggling and "scritchy-scratching", so it's the clear winner.

To be Continued...Mwhahaha.

Okay, perhaps maniacal laughter isn't necessary in a Children's book discussion.

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