Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Day 226: The Monsters' Monster

We picked up this gem the last time we were at the library in yet another attempt to beat the lousy weather blues.  (Thank you, local libraries, for being such a great source of sanity throughout this never-ending winter!)  I was actually looking for a different Patrick McDonnell book, but saw this one and remembered how I had wanted to get my hands on a copy of it last fall.  Given the monster theme of this story, I had been looking to add it to our list of Halloween reading, but had since forgotten about it. We absolutely love Me… Jane, McDonnell's wonderful tale about the young Jane Goodall, and the Monsters' Monster, while a very different kind of story, was also a instant hit with my children.

Three silly monsters named Grouch, Grump, and Gloom 'n' Doom love being their rowdy, destructive, monster selves, but whenever they try to agree upon who is the most monster-y monster, they end up in a brawl.  To settle the argument once and for all, they decide to build the biggest, baddest monster ever -- a MONSTER monster!  They create their monster Frankenstein-style, only to be completely shocked at the result.  Their monster isn't scary or bad or monster-like at all; in fact, he's quite the opposite!  After letting out a resounding "DANK YOU!", his first actions are to hug his creators, open the windows, breathe in the fresh, dewy morning air, and savor the sweet, warm sunlight.  At first Grouch, Grump, and Gloom n' Doom are beside themselves -- how could this happen?? -- but eventually, they begin to appreciate their monster for who he is and try to be more like him:  grateful, kind beings who are simply happy to be alive.

As often happens, my kids and I enjoy this book for different reasons.  They find the little monsters' antics to be quite hilarious and giggle every time the big monster says, "Dank you!" For them, the story is an all-around fun, silly read that never fails to make them laugh.  I find the story really fun to read, too, but more than that, I love its simple messages.  Its important to be true to yourself, and equally important to be accepting of other people, particularly those who are different than you.  Similarly, we should all be able to slow down, appreciate what we have, and savor life's simple pleasures (such as enjoying a warm, powdered jelly donut while watching the sunrise.)

The Monsters' Monster would be a great Halloween read and is not at all scary, but it's a fun, sweet story for any time of year.


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