Customer Reviews: The Monster Who Ate Darkness
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars11
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on October 11, 2011
I came across Jimmy Liao's "The Fish With A Smile" and it was delightful. I also liked the movies that were based on his stories. The illustration on this story is quite nice too, and what I like most is the monster eats darkness and nobody can go to sleep, which really makes you/kids think about darkness is great for sleeping. My kids giggle every time I read the part of the monster chewing the wooly slipper for some reason and they like it's a little tiny speck. Funny and well illustrated. Good book overall.
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A little boy named Jo-Jo has a monster under his bed - a monster that has a big empty feeling inside him.

What a surprise when the monster first shows up as a very hungry, tiny speck of a monster. He nibbles on a slipper. "Ugh! Horrible!" He bites into a toy car but it hurts his gums. He eventually discovers darkness in a box . . . "Delicious!" This yummy discovery creates a new hunger in the monster, and he goes about devouring darkness. As he grows, he finds new and exciting ways to eat darkness. He likes darkness sandwiches. And he loves darkness soup, made with a special ingredient - darkness from wells.

No matter how much this growing monster eats, he hungers for more darkness.
In an abstract way, the monster becomes darkness. Then darkness and Jo-Jo find comfort in one another. The boy feels safe, and the monster no longer has that big empty feeling inside.

I love the surprise ending. I found the last four spreads very sweet and touching. The final spread left me with a tender spot for monsters and for little boys who learn to like the dark.

Even though the monster and the darkness he eats are black, Jimmy Liao surrounds the blackness with amusing, detailed, and sometimes beautiful and colorful images. The more darkness the tiny speck of a monster eats the bigger he grows. Eventually the monster nearly fills the pages. One thing that I truly enjoy about Liao's illustrations is that the monster has just enough monster in him that readers will never forget he is a monster, and just enough cuteness in him that, like me, readers will likely develop a fondness for him from the very beginning of the book.

Joyce Dunbar accomplishes the same thing with her text. I love the way she mixes seriousness with humor. But what I love the most is the tender story she has created around darkness, a monster, and a apprehensive little boy.

Thanks to the pairing of Joyce Dunbar and Jimmy Liao, "The Monster Who Ate Darkness" is a well-told story that puts darkness in a different light.

I recommend this book for any child who is troubled by darkness.

Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa (Mom's Choice and Independent Publisher Awards Recipient)
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VINE VOICEon February 15, 2009
The Monster Who Ate Darkness is the story of a little boy who can't sleep because he is afraid of the dark. He is also afraid that there might be a monster under his bed. Well, it turns out there IS a monster under his bed - a cute little monster who has an appetite for darkness. That cute little monster ends up eating all of the darkness all over the world - and beyond. Unfortunately, the world doesn't do so well without darkness and the little boy learns that he needs the darkness to sleep. All ends happily when darkness returns.

My kids, ages 4 and 7, really like this book. My son likes the story and the colorful illustrations, and my daughter likes the fact that she can read the words by herself. This book makes a nice addition to a child's library.
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"Jo-Jo couldn't sleep. He didn't like the darkness under the bed. He thought a monster might be hiding there. Well, this time ... there was!"

So opens this charming tale about a monster who eats darkness. He starts off very little at the beginning, of course (as these things always do), but he grows a little bit each time he eats some darkness. Eventually, he has eaten all the darkness in Jo-Jo's room, but he's still hungry, so he must venture off in pursuit of more darkness.

But it turns out that all the darkness in the world - and even all the darkness of the night sky - is not enough to satisfy the monster's hunger.

There are wonderful bits of humor throughout the book. The monster makes darkness sandwiches and darkness stew. The expressions on the animals' faces as the monster sucks the darkness from their holes and dens is priceless. When there's no more darkness left, owls no longer wake up at night and they sleep so soundly they fall out of their trees. Bats hang right-side-up instead of upside down.

But the most endearing part comes when the monster, huge and sitting on a lonely planet in a bright, sad world, hears the small cry of a small boy who can't get to sleep. As large as he is, the monster fills the boy's room (the look on the cat's face is also priceless), takes the boy in his arms and gently rocks him to sleep. Jo-Jo is no longer afraid of the dark, and the monster is no longer hungry. The darkness returns to its rightful place, the monster shrinks back down to a small, contented speck in the arms of a boy, and all is right with the world.

The obvious theme of the book is that darkness is not only not scary, but it is necessary and comforting - a good lesson for any preschooler. But there's also an underlying theme about insatiability and the constant hunger for more. Such hunger can't be satisfied through consuming more, but rather, unexpectedly, through giving back - another good lesson for any preschooler. My preschooler (age four) loves this book.
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on January 21, 2010
I really like Jimmy's artworks. Therefore, when I knew he was going to publish his first English version artwork, I made my mind that I should collect it.

It seems like this book is for children, but he is really good at telling adult stories by those creative imagination and pretty artworks.
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on October 7, 2013
My five year old son loves this book. What more can I say? I've read it numerous times and it seems to help with his ability to conquer bad dreams/fear of dark.
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on February 9, 2013
My 8 yo daughter and 5 yo son request this book time and time agin. It is cute, it is funny, it is sweet. They love it and I do, too!
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on October 16, 2013
Now my daughter thinks there is a monster under her bed. She loves the book though. It just did not help with her fears at night.
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on November 23, 2014
this really helped my son with his fears, it kind of ridicules the fear of the dark and makes it seem silly ! Great book
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on November 4, 2014
love, love, love.
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