Nighty Night, Little Green Monster – prepare for bedtime

9780316210416Children piece together a cute little brother to the classic big green monster (but wait, it’s somebody’s bedtime).


Bibliographic Info:  Emberly, Ed  Nighty Night, Little Green Monster  Little, Brown and Company (2013)  32pp  Formats:  Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-316- 21041-6  $10.99  Nook, iBook  Interest Level: 2-6  Reading Level (Grade Level Equivalent): 1.8  Genre: Toy/Game Books  Themes:  Bedtime, Monsters

StorytimeWow_FinalLogo-1This material was given the StorytimeWOW Marquee Seal on March 10th, 2015.  The picture book meets the StorytimeWOW Standards and has been selected for the PictureBookWOW and Picture eBookWOW collections.  Read the Storytime section below for details on why this book was selected.

wonkimEditerImgDownSummary:   A toy bedtime story that gives children the opportunity to build a little monster and then empowers them to put him to bed.

Review:  This lovable Little Monster and his toothy grin is definitely worth sharing. By turning the die-cut pages, children compose the Little Green Monster’s happy face.  They add eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair and a fang.  Then the nighttime stars begin to appear, signaling readers that it’s time for Little Monster to prepare for bed.

On each successive page, children say “Night night” to Little Monster and watch his face disappear.  Just like the original “Go Away, Big Green Monster!”, this book empowers kids to send a monster away.  However, the sequel is far more gentle and less scary than the original.  Emberly’s die-cut tricks make “Nighty Night, Little Green Monster” well-suited for group storytimes.  Of course, this is a great book for bedtime too.


Storytime:  Like it’s older brother, “Nighty Night, Little Green Monster”  is a surefire storytime hit.  It was given StorytimeWOW’s Marquee Seal because it meets the following StorytimeWOW Standards:

  • Dynamic writing and universal appeal. From beginning to end, this toy book is magnetic.
  • A strong writing/illustrating relationship is evident. In this case, the writing and the die-cut artwork work together seamlessly to create the experience.
  • The “WOW” factor (it’s fun for kids) is also evident. Children will enjoy experiencing the book’s die-cuts throughout the story.
  • “Nighty Night, Little Green Monster” is well-suited for repetition. Young children will want to read you the story.  After more than 20 years (it was published in 1992), the concept is still fresh and timeless.
  • The big illustrations work perfectly for groups.  This is a story that does not need to be projected onto a big screen to be enjoyed by groups.  However, using the eBook version of this story in a new media storytime after reading the printed version of the original will cultivate kid’s media literacy.  By showing these similar books in different formats, you can help children understand that an eBook is just like a printed book (just in a different format).
  • The book possesses the takeaway of children’s empowerment and in the face of fear (and bedtime).
  • Monsters and bedtime are child-centered themes.
  • The concept is highly engaging and free of squirmy moments.
  • Built for young children, the interest level of this story is on target: toddlers through age 2.
  • Built-in participation elements invite kids to name facial features, name colors, and say “Nighty night, …(fill in the blank).”

thStorytime Tips:  To use this picture/eBook during storytime, just have children fill in the words “eyes”, “nose”, “ears”, “mouth”, “tooth”, “hair” and “face”.  The second time you tell it, take the participation a step further by allowing kids to fill in the names of colors as well.  The book is highly interactive so let children enjoy helping you tell the story.

Bibliotherapeutic Usefulness: This gentle and empowering book is just the thing for children who are scared of monsters at bedtime.


Early Childhood Education and Development:  The following lists the stand-out benefits of “Nighty Night, Little Green Monster” across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists.

1. “Nighty Night, Little Green Monster” is a picture book/eBook that cultivates the following Pre-Reading Skills (see full list of pre-reading skills here):

  • Teaches toddlers names of facial parts, colors and various descriptors (vocabulary)
  • Noticing print and following words on a page or screen (print awareness).
  • Cultivates interest and enjoyment in books (print motivation).
  • Being able to describe things (narrative skills)

2. This picture book/eBook provides opportunities to utilize the Early Literacy-building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Encourage kids to talk about their fears and themselves after reading this story.
  • Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (source:  Every Child Ready to Read).
  • Playing is a primary way in which children learn language. “Nighty Night, Little Green Monster” is a playful and satisfying toy/game book.

3. This picture book/eBook 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
  • Speak understandably
  • Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories
  • Identify the beginning sound of some words
  • Recognize some common sight words like “go”

4. This picture book/eBook follows Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Integrate more new media materials during storytime.  Cultivate media literacy by modeling media literacy behaviors.
  • 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 picture book/eBook 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 (conversing with adults about personally meaningful experiences, describing objects verbally, naming and expressing feelings in words, listening to others describe objects and events, listening to stories and poems being read, making up stories)
  • Classification (investigating and labeling attributes:  what parts does it have?)
  • Temporal Relations (starting and stopping an action on signal)
  • Spatial Relations (experiencing one’s own body, how it is structured, what the basic parts can do, describing the positions of things in relation to each other – in the middle, on the top of, on the side of, on the bottom of, above, under, below, beneath, beside, next to, between, etc…, distinguishing and describing shapes – circle, triangle, etc…)

Significance:  It has been more than two decades since Ed Emberley created his classic Big Green Monster with die-cuts.  With this book, the big green guy gets a well-deserved and less frightening companion.

Ed Emberley has written and illustrated over 75 books. He has also been showered with honors, including the 1967 Caldecott Honor (for One Wide River to Cross) and the 1968 Caldecott Medal for Drummer Hoff).

Read-alikes:  Looking for more of the same?  Go Away, Big Green Monster! and Glad Mother, Sad Mother are additional die-cut titles by Ed Emberly.

Links:  Ed Emberly’s website   teaching resources   Amazon  

Other Reviews:  Goodreads   Kirkus

I chose to review this book because the original is always a hit in my storytimes.

3Make Reading More Fun


Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!