No Such Thing

( 1 )

Overview

There is no such thing as a monster, and certainly no such thing as a monster under the bed. That's what Howard's mother tells him. There is no such thing as a boy, and certainly no such thing as a boy on top of a bed. That's what Monster's mother tells him. But no matter what their mothers say, Howard and Monster remain afraid of the dark. Then one spooky night Howard and Monster come face-to-face with each other. Jackie French Koller and Betsy Lewin have created a "monster-under-the-bed" story ...

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Overview

There is no such thing as a monster, and certainly no such thing as a monster under the bed. That's what Howard's mother tells him. There is no such thing as a boy, and certainly no such thing as a boy on top of a bed. That's what Monster's mother tells him. But no matter what their mothers say, Howard and Monster remain afraid of the dark. Then one spooky night Howard and Monster come face-to-face with each other. Jackie French Koller and Betsy Lewin have created a "monster-under-the-bed" story that offers the perfect cure for fear of the dark.

Jackie French Koller is the author of more than a dozen books for children, including the Mole & Shrew picture books. She lives in Westfield, Massachusetts.

Betsy Lewin has illustrated many books for children, including A Thousand Cousins by David L. Harrison, and Booby Hatch, a 1995 School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, which she wrote. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Howard and the monster under his bed decide on a plan to convince their mothers that both of them have reason to be afraid after dark.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Monsters, according to popular opinion, live under beds. Koller (the Mole and Shrew books), rather than deny these beasts' existence, questions their frightful intentions. In this mildly suspenseful tale, a boy named Howard tells his mother, "I heard [a monster] snurkling under my bed." Meanwhile, a young monster informs his mother that he hears a boy "sneezing on top of my bed." Left alone by their disbelieving parents, human and monster peek at each other and shriek in fear; only when their terror turns to tears do they dare a second, curious look. On the closing page, they trade places for a practical joke that's left to the reader's imagination: " `Oh, Mommy,' they both called together. `Mommy, come quick!' " Lewin (Somebody Catch My Homework) draws in loose, Quentin Blake-style gestures of pen and ink, and fills the negative space with watercolor washes of dusky blue and brown. She envisions Monster (who reads a scary comic titled Boy) as a warty green gargoyle with clawed toes, a boar's snout and tusks. Koller invents a monster vocabulary: Monster "whimples" when Howard whimpers, and "sniggles" when his friend giggles. The plot is predictable and even a bit shopworn, yet the energetic telling and agreeable illustrations could put some fears temporarily to rest. Ages 4-8. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2When Howard tells his mother about the monster under his bed, she says there's no such thing. Young Monster's mother says the same thing when he describes the boy on top of the bed. When the two at last meet, however, with an eye-popping mutual "Aagh!" it's clear that they have much in common, including parents long since fed up with their offspring's imaginations. The bonds of friendship forge, and the final page shows the two hatching a plan to scare their disbelieving moms. Like Mercer Mayer's There's a Nightmare in My Closet (Dial, 1968), this is a satisfying version of the familiar tale of child/monster coexistence. It runs a gamut of emotions from apprehension to frustration (both child and parent), terror, empathy, to, finally, the friendly sharing of a good joke. Lewin's ink-and-wash cartoon scrawls lend just the right exaggerated and humorous touch to put Koller's all-too-likely scenario over the top. Children will recognize themselves in this tale and will enjoy conjuring up denouements limited only by their imaginations.Meg Stackpole, Rye Free Reading Room, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Any child who has been convinced of the presence of a monster at bedtime will feel vindicated by this satisfying story from Koller (A Place to Call Home, 1995, etc.).

During his first night in his new home, Howard is fearful of a monster he thinks is under the bed. His mother assures him there is none, and leaves. Meanwhile, under the bed, Monster's mother is reassuring him that there are no such things as boys, one of whom he is certain is on top of his bed. She tucks him in and leaves. After several similar confrontations, the exasperated mothers have had it, so the boy and the monster must deal with each other directly. Conquering their fears, each has a moment of hysterical laughter over the idea that he might eat the other. Then they hatch a terrific plan, trading places on the bed and calling upon their mothers one last time. Readers are left to guess how the mothers will react. The versatile Lewin works in flowing watercolors, a loose style that makes the overlap between the boy's and monster's worlds completely acceptable and intensifies the story's humor. This tautly told story in which two stern mothers get their comeuppances is irresistible.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563974908
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 794,699
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: 340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 10.32 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Jackie French Koller is the author of well over 30 books for children, including Peter Spit a Seed at Sue picture book, the Dragonling chapter books, and several award-winning novels. She lives in western Massachusetts with her husband and Labrador retriever.

Betsy Lewin has illustrated many books for children, including three by David L. Harrison: Somebody Catch My Homework, The Boy Who Counted Stars, and A Thousand Cousins. Booby Hatch was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, which she wrote as well as illustrated. Betsy lives with her husband, illustrator and author Ted Lewin, in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2008

    A reviewer

    This classic is very enjoyable for all ages. It looks deeper into fear for kids, and helps them see that sometimes, even the things bigger than they are can be afraid. It's and awesome story that also influenced John Mayer's song 'No Such Thing', which is all about getting out of high school and into the real world, but not being afraid to do so because in the end, 'there is nothign to fear bt fear itself'.

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