Monster Night at Grandma's House

Monster Night at Grandma's House

by Richard Peck, Don Freeman
     
 

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Two world-renowned children's book creators, Richard Peck and Don Freeman, collaborated on this picture book-the evocative tale of a boy who takes on the monster lurking in his grandma's home. This was one of Don Freeman's last books-after Corduroy, after Dandelion, after he'd won a Caldecott Honor for Fly High Fly Low. It is novelist Richard Peck's only picture

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Overview

Two world-renowned children's book creators, Richard Peck and Don Freeman, collaborated on this picture book-the evocative tale of a boy who takes on the monster lurking in his grandma's home. This was one of Don Freeman's last books-after Corduroy, after Dandelion, after he'd won a Caldecott Honor for Fly High Fly Low. It is novelist Richard Peck's only picture book. He wrote Monster Night about twenty-five years before he won a Newbery Honor for A Long Way from Chicago, before he won the Newbery Medal for A Year Down Yonder.

Now their beguiling collaboration is once again available, and includes a new introduction, full of warmth and reminiscence, by Richard Peck. It's a classic treat-a deliciously spooky journey through darkness into the comforting, clear light of day.

Illustrated by Don Freeman.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Richard Peck's only picture book, Monster Night at Grandma's House (1977), illus. by Don Freeman, appears here with an author's note recounting the volume's genesis. This tale of a boy's fearful night at Grandma's house unfolds through a lengthy text perhaps best appreciated by die-hard Peck fans. Freeman's two-color scratchboard artwork in India ink and watercolor adds to the period feel. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Any child who has ever stayed overnight at grandma's house will recognize how this little boy feels as he goes upstairs to bed while grandma sleeps downstairs. In the darkness, he hears bugs hitting against the window screen and after a while decides "some were scratching fingers that didn't sound a bit like bugs." When he hears the floorboard creak just once, he convinces himself there is a monster in his room. Peck deftly creates suspense and captures the intensity of a child's imagination. He tosses in a bit of humor as the boy discovers that the troubling "lumpish shapes halfway down his bed" are simply his feet. Mustering up some courage when he thinks he sees the tail of the monster, he gets out of bed and gets rid of the monster. Full and half-page illustrations done on scratchboard in India ink and white and blue watercolor show the little boy enjoying the day and apprehensively facing the loneliness of the dark. The realistic setting combined with nighttime fears and a satisfying ending, makes this a good spooky story for the age group. Teachers and librarians will find Peck's note at the beginning of interest where he makes a connection between this book and two of his more recent novels. Originally published in 1977. 2003 (orig. 1977), Dial Books for Young Readers,
— Sharon Salluzzo

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803729049
Publisher:
Dial
Publication date:
08/25/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Don Freeman was born in San Diego, California, in 1908. At an early age, he received a trumpet as a gift from his father. He practiced obsessively and eventually joined a California dance band. After graduating from high school, he ventured to New York City to study art under the tutelage of Joan Sloan and Harry Wickey at the Art Students' League. He managed to support himself throughout his schooling by playing his trumpet evenings, in nightclubs and at weddings.

Gradually, he eased into making a living sketching impressions of Broadway shows for The New York Times and The Herald Tribune. This shift was helped along, in no small part, by a rather heartbreaking incident: he lost his trumpet. One evening, he was so engrossed in sketching people on the subway, he simply forgot it was sitting on the seat beside him. This new career turned out to be a near-perfect fit for Don, though, as he had always loved the theater.

He was introduced to the world of children's literature when William Saroyan asked him to illustrate several books. Soon after, he began to write and illustrate his own books, a career he settled into comfortably and happily. Through his writing, he was able to create his own theater: "I love the flow of turning the pages, the suspense of what's next. Ideas just come at me and after me. It's all so natural. I work all the time, long into the night, and it's such a pleasure. I don't know when the time ends. I've never been happier in my life!"

Don died in 1978, after a long and successful career. He created many beloved characters in his lifetime, perhaps the most beloved among them a stuffed, overall-wearing bear named Corduroy.

Don Freeman was the author and illustrator of many popular books for children, including Corduroy, A Pocket for Corduroy, and the Caldecott Honor Book Fly High, Fly Low.

Richard Peck has written more than thirty novels, and in the process has become one of the country’s most highly respected writers for children. In fact The Washington Post called him “America’s best living author for young adults.” A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle-graders as well as young adults for his historical and contemporary comedies and coming-of-age novels. He lives in New York City, and spends a great deal of time traveling around the country to speaking engagements at conferences, schools, and libraries.

Mr. Peck is the first children’s book author to have received a National Humanities Medal. He is a Newbery Medal winner (for A Year Down Yonder), a Newbery Honor winner (for A Long Way from Chicago), a two-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Edgar Award winner. In addition, he has won a number of major honors for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi.

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