Friday, June 23, 2017

I Want a Monster! by Elise Gravel

When Winnie complains that all her friends have monsters, after some convincing, her Papa finally agrees to let her have one. But life with a monster is not always easy, as Winnie soon finds out when he goes swimming in the toilet, eats Papa's cell phone, and NEVER sleeps. Winnie must quickly learn how to train her monster so he's not constantly misbehaving or else she might soon find herself monsterless.

What made this book stand out in the humor department was all the little cheeky details that Gravel included like the fact that Winnie, our protagonist, has a poster of The Cranky Ballerina (One of Gravel's other more recent picture books) as well as some pictures of characters from some of Gravel's other books, the fact that the dad is carrying around a book that says "The Art of Zen" on the cover when their monster is being particularly ornery, and how when the monster finally does calm down, he's intently reading a book upside down.

I also love that this is a book about a father and a daughter and there's no question in the story as to where the mother is. So often our culture relegates dads to the parenting sidekick or "babysitter" when mom is away, but this is a dad who shows up and parents his daughter without any need for wondering where the mom is. We need more books about dads being dads without a need to point it out or be congratulatory about it. Though I suppose me bringing that point up doesn't help matters much, does it? :)

Also, what will make this a fabulous book to read aloud to kids is the activity Gravel includes at the end for kids to create their own monster. I will be for sure doing a monster-creation activity with my students in the library in the near future.

I Want a Monster! by Elise Gravel
Published: March 15, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 40
Genre/Format: Picture Book/Fantasy
Audience: Primary
Disclosure: Library copy

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

No comments:

Post a Comment