Now that October has arrived, thoughts of pumpkins and candy and spooky things are swirling around in my kids’ heads. And let’s not forget monsters. Monsters have always fascinated kids. They’re both exciting and scary. Here are 5 Monster Books that are not-so-scary to share with your little monsters:
written by Robert L. Crowe, illustrated by Kay Chorao
published by Puffin
picture book (age 2-5)
Clyde was young but growing. He loved his mom and dad. When not at home he loved to spend his day in the forest doing summersaults. But when it came time to go to bed Clyde was afraid, afraid of the dark, afraid of people. You see, Clyde is a little monster who is afraid of people hiding in his room, under his bed, behind his chair, waiting to scare him. This is a wonderful tale of childhood fears of the dark. As parents, we know that monsters aren’t real, but that doesn’t make our children’s fear of them any easier. Clyde and his family discuss his fears: “Would you ever hide in the dark under a bed or in a closet to scare a human boy or girl?” “Of course not!” exclaimed Clyde. The monster perspective makes this story more approachable to discuss your own child’s night time fears.
Big Lips and Hairy Arms
written by Jean Jackson, illustrated by Vera Rosenberry
published by DK Publishing
picture book (age 4-8)
Two monster friends, Nelson and Thorndike, are enjoying a cold and windy evening together when they are interrupted by a mysterious phone call: “I have big lips and hairy arms, and I’m only five blocks away!” The two friends try to distract themselves with caterpillar crisps and a game of Pin the Teeth on the dragon, but as the calls continue, with the caller getting closer to the house, they become a little worried. In the end, everyone is pleasantly surprised when the mystery caller is revealed. Children will enjoy the suspense and delight when the mystery guest is revealed. be . The colorful illustrations aid in keeping the story from getting too scary.
Go Away, Big Green Monster
written & illustrated by Ed Emberley
published by Little Brown
picture book (age 3-8)
A Caldecott Medal winner
Through the use of die-cut pages, a scary monster is created page by page. But once the monster is complete the reader tells it “You don’t scare me! So go away…” Now each page removes a piece of the scary monster until the end “and don’t come back.” As the child creates and then destroys the monster in the book, page by page, they see that the monster isn’t as scary as they thought. This great interactive approach gives children control of the monster and hopefully helps them to understand and control their own fears.
Leonardo the Terrible Monster
written & illustrated by Mo Willems
published by Hyperion Books for Children
picture book (age 4-8)
Leonardo is a terrible monster. His attempts to scare people only elicits giggles. Then Leonardo has an idea. He decides he’s going to find the most scardey-cat kid in the whole world and scare the tuna salad out of him. But when he does, he doesn’t feel so great. Now he has a new idea, instead of being a terrible monster he will be a wonderful friend. This is another wonderful tale by Mo Willems. The large book format allows for great use of space around his images and words. Mo Willems has the ability to write wonderful children stories that entertain both children and adults alike.
written by Joanna Cole, illustrated by Jared Lee
published by Scholastic
Scholastic Reader (level 3)
Rosie Monster looked like the perfect little monster. Her only problem? She had terrible manners, terrible monster manners. She was too friendly, too polite, too nice. Rosie asked her friend Prunella to teach her how to be a better monster. Prunella shows Rosie how to make monster faces, how to order in a restaurant, even how to behave when visiting friends, but Rosie’s manners don’t improve. Then something occurs that only Rosie’s not so monster manners can solve and her parents realize they’re lucky to have her, just the way she is. Children will enjoy this mixed-up manners tale and the delightfully rude lessons taught by Prunella. There’s a page of fluency words at the end of the book for young readers.