Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Big Scary Monster

 

Thomas Docherty

I very much like the cover of this book. The title is in direct contradiction to the expression on the monster's face - with his plastered on enormous smile , he looks like the friendliest guy around. But then you wonder - what's with all the scared looking smaller animals clustered around by his feet? Is this a big scary blue monster or is he just misunderstood?

We find out rather quickly that this monster is deserving of the title ... at least according to all the small animals who live near him.  He gets his kicks by hiding quietly and then leaping out when they least expect it, yelling "Boo!" in his loudest voice. While this might be hilarious to him, the others do not share his sentiments.  Their solution is to start hiding - if he can't find them, no awful scaring.  
The animals become quite adept at hiding from the monster and he, in turn, becomes quite bored. Not only is there not anyone to scare, but there also isn't anyone to talk to. It is a lonely existence. Do you think the monster learns his lesson and ceases his scare tactics?  Nope. He looks down from the big mountain where he resides and notices many other small animals at the bottom. Fresh meat to scare! He heads down with a big smile on his face. 
As he tromps down the hill, those small things appear much larger as he approaches.  The plants and rocks are towering over him and the creatures aren't the least bit small! The monster is the tiniest thing around and never felt so small and scared in his entire life. His heart pounding, the monster crouches behind a large rock to catch his breath.  Suddenly, the "large rock" turns around and says "Boo!" Terrified, he beats a hasty retreat back to his corner of the world, 

Now that the monster knows what it feels like to be the hunted, will he make an effort to be nicer to the other animals?  A resounding YES! He has learned his lesson the hard way and he works diligently to become the big friendly monster instead.  This book is a fun way to teach your children how to put yourself in someone else's place to understand the havoc you are wreaking. Thanks, big blue monster! 
Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. 
 

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