Author: Amanda Noll
Series: I Need My Monster
Books in Series: 4
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Genre: Picture Book, Fiction
Release Date: 2009-2019
This book reminds me of: How to Catch A Monster by Michael Yu
I Need My Monster focuses on friendly monsters whose job it is to keep children in bed at night. The books work well as independent stories or as a collection. Each story is infused with playfulness, through the prose and the enchanting illustrations. It’s what I most enjoyed about the series.
Ethan’s monster, Gabe, has gone fishing in the first book. Other monsters are sent in Gabe’s place, but none Ethan is happy with. Similarly in the second book, Gabe leaves to help keep another child in bed—Ethan’s sister Emma. There is a “boys need boy monsters” moment in the first book when Ethan turns away a monster for being a girl.
The third book is a departure from traditional storytelling. In it, Ethan compares all the monsters featured in the series to his monster, Gabe. It reminded me of Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman.
The last book in this series, How I Met My Monster, shares Ethan’s first encounter with monsters and the moment he met his monster, Gabe.
I enjoyed Hey, That’s My Monster (the second book) and How I Met My Monster (the fourth book) the most. Overall, the series was fun and charming. I loved the illustrations.
A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: “Gone fishing. Back in a week.” Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares he doesn’t stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they’ve got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn’t enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.
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