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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Monsters' Monster, written and Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell. Little , Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group. 2012. $ 18.50 ages 4 and up

"But Monster didn't think
he was a monster.
He didn't think he was anything...
...but thankful to be ALIVE!
Monster became still, sniffling
a hint of sweetness in the morning
air. Suddenly, he let out a ROAR
and smashed through the dungeon's

Now, here's a picture perfect book for monsters...young and old! You will be captivated by the telling, the images, the irascible characters. It's so much fun to read out loud and that is a 'good thing'. It's sure to become a favorite and, while it isn't intended only to be read at Halloween, it will be great fun for your Halloween party and any other time, as well.

 The three little monsters (Grouch, Grump and Gloom 'n Doom) spend hours each and every day arguing:

"Every day they argued over who was the biggest, baddest monster.
Who could complain the loudest?
Who could throw the most terrible tantrum?
Who was the most miserable?
These debates always ended in a brawl."

Their problems with each other are soon be solved. The three little monsters are bent on creating the biggest monster anyone has ever seen. You better believe it! They collect all the materials needed and set their minds to working at their inventive masterpiece. A chance meeting with a lightning bolt gives the monster powerful life; the little ones are delighted until they hear his first words, and feel his strong arms wrapping them in a warm embrace. What have they done?

Monster has nothing in common with their imagined creation, except his size and his perceived 'monsternous'. He does have a very important lesson to teach in a gentle, emotional story that will have listeners giggling, agog, and eventually mellow. There is nothing they can now do to change who he really is; so, they make the best of it!

I love this book. Its design is lively and lovely, its characters unique and its story a tender moment for all those engaged in the listening. Patrick McDonnell captures the essence of childhood with these quirky guys and entertains us with a story to remember with great admiration.

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