Bibliographic Info: Stone, Jon (author), Smollin, Mike (illustrator) Another Monster at the End of this Book Golden Books/Random House (2012) 24pp. Formats: Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-375-86984-6, Board Book ISBN-13: 978-030-798769-3, Kindle App, iBook, App Interest Level: preK-2 Genre: Comedy and Humor, Read Aloud Themes: Print Awareness, Monsters, Reading for Fun, Fear
Another Monster at the End of this Book was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 11th, 2015. This picture book/eBook/app meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for three collections on this site: PictureBookWOW, Picture eBookWOW and AppWOW. Read the Storytime section below for details on why this story was selected and which version is best for storytime.
Summary: “Lovable, furry Grover” is fearful of “Another Monster at the End of this Book.” He desperately tries to convince Elmo not to turn the pages (so as to avoid the monster). As Elmo, the reader, and listeners keep turning pages, Grover desperately tries every method he can think of to prevent a confrontation with the monster.
Review: Another Monster at the End of this Book, written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Mike Smollin, follows in the footsteps of its highly conceptual predecessor. The book spotlights the winning personalities of Sesame Street’s Grover and Elmo. The concept (clearly stated in the title) is a premise that doubles as a monster-sized hook and keeps kids engaged. The concept comes to life with kinetic illustrations that take reader and listeners on a comedic ride. Although the sequel will inspire giggles, the story lacks the edge that makes the original a classic. The Monster at the End of this Book is storytime dynamite. Although Another Monster at the End of this Book will keep young children’s attention from start to finish, this sequel is merely a firecracker.
Storytime: Another Monster at the End of this Book meets the following StorytimeWOW Standards:
- Dynamic writing and universal appeal. The writing empowers young listeners, putting them in the driver’s seat with Elmo.
- A strong writing/illustrating relationship is evident. The text and illustrations are essential to the book’s concept.
- This concept has the “WOW” factor (which means children find it enjoyable). The hook installs a sense of anticipation that carries through until the end of the story.
- Another Monster at the End of this Book is suited for repetition. The classic version is evidence of its timelessness.
- The illustrations work for groups. Use the eBook for groups to make the illustrations easy to see from a distance.
- The book possesses the happy takeaway of silliness and laughter.
- Monsters and fear are engaging and child-centered themes.
- The story keeps the listener’s attention and is free of squirmy moments.
- The interest level of this story hits the storytime target of preK through grade 2.
- The concept builds participation into the story by involving readers on every page.
Storytime Tips: StorytimeWOW recommends using the app for one-on-one storytimes and the eBook with a monitor or projector for groups. A storyteller who uses a picture book app will want to silence the app’s narration feature. Unfortunately, the reader cannot turn off the voices of Grover and Elmo (who read the entire text) in the app version. In this app, character voice narration plus short animations create an immersive experience that is not appropriate for group storytimes. To create a live storytelling interactive experience for a group, use the eBook and:
- Turn on your best monster voices
- Ask listeners if each page should be turned (wink, wink)
- Choose volunteers to help you turn the pages (whether you use a traditional or electronic format)
Early Childhood Education and Development: The following lists Another Monster at the End of this Book‘s stand-out benefits across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists:
1. This picture book/eBook/app cultivates the following Pre-Reading Skills (see full list of pre-reading skills here):
- Teaches how to handle a book/eBook/app (print awareness)
- Cultivates interest and enjoyment in books (print motivation)
2. This book/eBook/app provides opportunities to utilize the Early Literacy-building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):
- Talking with kids and telling them stories helps them learn to express themselves and conversations.
- Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (Every Child Ready to Read).
- Playing is a primary way in which children learn language (and this book is very playful).
3. This book/eBook/app builds children’s Kindergarten Readiness (see full checklist here). Children well-prepared for kindergarten are able to:
- Listen to stories without interrupting
- Pay attention for short periods of time to adult-directed tasks
- Understanding actions have causes and effects (turning pages!)
- Recognize some common sight words like “stop”
4. This book/eBook/app follows Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):
- Integrate new media materials and technology in group programs and classroom settings. Cultivate media literacy behaviors through modeling.
- Increase focus on children’s comprehension through dialogic reading. Ask questions before, during and after telling stories.
- Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings. Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.
5. This book/eBook/app supports young children’s “emerging mental abilities” by providing opportunities for “key experiences” that strengthen and broaden these abilities (see full list here):
- Using Language (naming and expressing feelings, listening to others describe things and events, listening to stories)
- Representing (relating pictures to real places and things, role-playing, pretending)
- Temporal Relations (anticipating future events verbally, starting and stopping on signal, understanding the order of events – beginning, middle, end)
Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness – Another Monster at the End of this Book, like its predecessor, provides caregivers with an opportunity to encourage children to talk about their fears. Sesame Workshop suggests asking children what else Grover might be afraid of (besides monsters) after reading the book. For young children, recognizing and naming feelings is a key step in emotional development.
Read-alikes: Like Another Monster at the End of this Book, Wild About Books by Judy Sierra and The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak are humorous read-alouds that cultivate print/book awareness. These stories deepen young children’s knowledge about books. Print awareness is a pre-reading skill that contributes to early literacy.
I chose to review this material because the original book’s app was highly recommended for new media storytime by LittleeLit.com.
Make Reading More Fun
Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!