I Need My Monster – Book Review

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From the Cover of I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll:

“When Ethan checks under the bed for his monster, he finds a note instead:
‘Gone fishing. Back in a week. – Gabe’
What will Ethan do? He needs a monster under his bed.

Substitute monsters appear but none area as perfect as Gabe. Herbert’s teeth aren’t sharp enough, Mack’s slobbering induces giggles, Cynthia’s tail isn’t scary at all, and Ralph has nail polish on his claws! This will never work! How will Ethan ever get to sleep without his monster?

I Need My Monster is a unique monster-under-the-bed story for all monster-loving kids. The perfect balance of giggles and shivers will keep you under your covers, and you’ll soon be sleeping soundly.”


Grade:

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Transfiguring Adoption awarded this book 3 Hoots out of 5 based on how useful it will be for a foster/adoptive family. [Learn more about our Hoot grading system here]


What Our Family Thought:

This book appears to be for ages 5 – 9. However, due to the monster subject matter, you might be able to get a monster-loving fifth or even sixth grader interested in this book. The story appears to be written for a general audience and doesn’t target foster or adoptive families. Transfiguring Adoption was interested in reviewing this book because the tale deals deals with a childhood issues at bedtime and the issue of staying in bed in order to get to sleep.

The illustrations in the book are very immersive and have a Disney-like quality to them. The humor and emotions of the book as well as the storyline are all reliant equally on the images as much as the written content.

There are two ideas proposed in the book that we believe might be of interest to caregivers:

  1. Every Person Is Special & Unique
    The main character, young Ethan, discovers how special his monster is as he seeks a replacement monster during his monster’s vacation. This book definitely has the opportunity for you, the caregiver, to talk about how every person is unique and there are no replacements for anyone in our lives. This could also lead to a good conversation about how foster/adoptive parents do not replace birth parents in a child’s life.
  2. Neat Concept for Kids Staying in Bed
    The main character, Ethan, recognizes that he needs a monster because the role a monster plays in this story is to scare children to stay in bed. Ethan knows if he doesn’t get out of bed he will fall asleep. This could lead to a fun game or interaction between you, the caregiver, and your child around bedtime. Obviously, one needs to be sure as not to actually frighten or traumatize the child. However, we believe this can be done with humor and with a child that is fascinated by monsters. Even in the story, Ethan is “scared” of his monster but he appears to want to be scared – very similar to a situation you may see where a child says they do not want to be tickled but make every effort for an adult to catch them and tickle them.

One Word of Caution
The only caution we would give to caregivers is to consider your child’s fear level and age. While this book in NO WAY presents the fear factor in an intense way (actually it presents everything in a humorous way), some children from traumatic backgrounds (sexual abuse, PTSD, etc.) may become frightened by the idea that there is something hiding under their bed at bedtime. Again, it is not so much the story but the caution that your child from a traumatic background might put an idea in their head and let their imagination run wild.

This book earned a three hoots – a fine, solid piece of media for your family. We merely couldn’t score it higher because it did not directly address issues for helping foster or adoptive families. However, it does appear to be a great book for allowing your family to have fun together.

Overall, this book was executed superbly. We believe that any family would have an entertaining time with this book as the center of some family time or as a fun bedtime book. It also appears be a fun book to read around Halloween.


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It’s Your Turn:

  1. What are three things Ethan likes about his monster, Gabe?
  2. Which monster do you think looked the silliest? Why?
  3. How did Ethan’s monster help him get to sleep?
  4. What would your monster look like?

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