After an especially "busy" day, a preschool-age boy overhears his mother say, "He's been a monster all day." So the little boy starts to fantasize about what life as a monster would be like. "I wonder why Mommy thinks that of me? / I guess if she does then a monster I'll be! / I'm big and strong! / I grumble and growl / and scare people off / with a sneer and a scowl. / Being a monster is fun!" There are no rules to remember or manners to follow. And monsters can stay out as late as they please, scaring everyone ...
After an especially "busy" day, a preschool-age boy overhears his mother say, "He's been a monster all day." So the little boy starts to fantasize about what life as a monster would be like. "I wonder why Mommy thinks that of me? / I guess if she does then a monster I'll be! / I'm big and strong! / I grumble and growl / and scare people off / with a sneer and a scowl. / Being a monster is fun!" There are no rules to remember or manners to follow. And monsters can stay out as late as they please, scaring everyone away. As it turns out, being a monster isn't all it's cracked up to be. No one wants to be friends with a monster. And who will read a story and tuck a monster into bed? Maybe being a little boy isn't such a bad thing after all.
When a little boy hears his mother describe him as a being a monster that day, he imagines what it would be like to really be a monster. He revels in the idea of flying, bathing in mud, dining on bugs and lizards, and avoiding good manners. Then he focuses on the negative side, like no one wanting to play with him. By bedtime, the boy has decided he doesn't want to be a monster and hopefully his mother will forget about his behavior that day. Told in a lively rhythm and rhyme, the story will have listeners rolling on the floor. The soft tones of the illustrations make even a monster seem huggable. The book lends itself to classroom use. The rhyming text makes predictions possible and the illustrations provide many opportunities to distinguish between what the text tells readers and what the illustrations tell them. The combination also supports young readers learning how to draw conclusions. The boy is reminiscent of Sendak's Max, but the book stands on its own. Reviewer: Lisa Colozza Cocca
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—While sitting in the time-out corner, a little boy overhears his mother grumble, "He's been a monster all day." The child starts to fantasize about being a green, warty ogre and indulging in the pleasurable mayhem of monster truck races, nighttime playground romps, and salamander-tail feasts. The dream begins to lose its appeal when he realizes that his manners-free lifestyle would scare everyone away: "Being a monster/isn't so great./I'm going home-hope it isn't too late…/Tomorrow she'll see/a monster I'm not!" Moore's pencil and watercolor cartoon illustrations show the boy as a charming google-eyed, scaly creature reveling in a mud bath and also as a sweet-faced sleepyhead tucked into bed. The gently rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud and will spark discussions of beastly and non-beastly behavior.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
A mother's descriptive complaint sets her misbehaving preschooler to imagining the enjoyment of the crude mischief of a monster's life. Transforming himself into a scaly-skinned, green-faced ghoul, this boy begins to growl and grumble, sneer and scowl. He befriends the pet monster under his bed and makes general mayhem. This little guy revels in the grime of the gooey, slimy mud, loudly revving up his monster trucks and staying up all night, unafraid of the dark. But without manners and basic courtesy (please and thank you), he realizes that playing solo is disappointingly unpleasant. "Being a monster isn't so great. / I'm going home--hope it isn't too late…." Cozy in bed, sweetness returns him to a brown-haired, smooth-featured, sleepy little human. Moore's soft-toned, gentle and whimsical cartoon drawings in pencil and watercolors easily complement the smoothly readable, rhyming text. Much like Sendak's beloved Max, this child needs some time to exercise his outrageous thoughts before coming to terms with his own self-control. The comparison to Max is so obvious the book can't help but suffer from it, but it makes its own small rumpus. This young monster's journey could inspire some self-reflection on those cranky, crabby days.(Picture book. 3-5)