Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Need My Monster, by Amanda Noll

Title:  I Need My Monster
Author:  Amanda Noll
Illustrator:  Howard McWilliam
Publisher:  Flash Light Press
Pages:  30 
Genre:  Fantasy
Age Level:  2nd-4th Grade

Plot Summary:
Ethan checks under his bed for his monster Gabe, and instead finds a note that says, "Gone Fishing.  Back in a week." Ethan begins to fret-how will be get to sleep without Gabe's comforting snorts, or the sound of his claws scratching the floor.  Various substitute monsters try to meet Ethan's exacting monster standards, but none are as good as his monster Gabe.  Turns out that things just weren't the same for Gabe without Ethan, either.  The fish just scare too easily.  As Ethan finally snuggles into his covers for the night, Gabe and Ethan are both thankful that they have each other.

As "monster under the bed" books go, this one is pretty adorable.  The illustrations are engaging, and sure to keep younger listeners occupied.  The text is clever, with the various monsters each having their own distinct personality that could be discussed with students.  It takes something scary, like the thought of monsters under the bed, and turns it into an integral part of childhood, something that we must give up (regretfully) as we grow.  The vocabulary is rather challenging for new readers, so this probably works best as a read aloud for younger children, though older readers should have little trouble.

Teaching Resources:

Monster Lesson Plans
I Need My Monster Activity Guide 

Teach With Picture Books 

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