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The Monsters' Monster Hardcover – September 4, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-1-Three little monsters love to CRASH!, BASH!, and SMASH! Every day they argue over who is the best monster, until they join forces to "make a MONSTER monster. The biggest, baddest monster EVER!" At first, their efforts look successful, but to their horror, the creature's first words after tearing off his bandages are "Dank you." The enormous Frankenstein look-alike contents himself with breathing fresh air and gently greeting the spiders, bats, and rats in the castle. But just as the little monsters begin to despair, Monster lets out a ROAR and smashes through the dungeon wall, heading toward the "monster-fearing village" below. Is he finally off to make mayhem? Or will his exploits end in a lesson for the little monsters about gratitude and sharing? McDonnell's monsters are comic and endearing, and the book's colors gently shift from dark and gloomy to warm as the story progresses. The message is well executed, and the little beasts' exuberance at their badness keeps the tale from devolving into platitudes. This delightful title will provide a new option for "not so scary" monster storytimes.-Suzanne Myers Harold, Multnomah County Library System, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

McDonnell moves from cozy biography (Booklist Top of the List winner Me . . . Jane, 2011) to, naturally, marauding monsters. Grouch (the horned one), Grump (the furry one), and Gloom ’n’ Doom (the two-headed one) are certain that they’re awesome monsters: “They lived in a dark monster castle, high atop a dark monster mountain overlooking a monster-fearing village.” Their monstrous proclivities will be familiar to young readers: they complain, throw tantrums, and fight—but it’s just not enough! So they build a Frankenstein monster to “make mayhem in the village.” Problem! Monster no like mayhem. Monster like petting spiders and eating jelly donuts and relaxing on beach. Baffled by Monster’s behavior, the three friends have no choice but to give his easygoing manner a try. McDonnell arranges the tale so that it blooms like a dawning day, beginning in muddy grays and browns before lightening to blue and yellow as the morning—and the characters—brighten. The friends are appropriately tiny, the monster appropriately big, and the message appropriately sweet. Relax, little monsters, and enjoy the day. Grades K-2. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Lexile Measure: 610L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316045470
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316045476
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Patrick McDonnell is a New York Times best-selling author, and creator of the comic strip MUTTS which appears in over 700 newspapers around the globe. He has received numerous awards internationally, including the National Cartoonists Society's highest honor, The Reuben. You can sign up to receive the daily MUTTS strip at MUTTScomics.com

The Gift of Nothing was McDonnell's first children's book. In 2014, it was transformed into a chidlren's play commissioned by The Kennedy Center. In 2012 he was awarded the Caldecott Honor for Me...Jane). McDonnell has collaborated with author Eckhart Tolle on Guardians of Being.

McDonnell has appeared on CNN, The Today Show, PBS and the Oprah Winfrey Network. He is a member of the Board of Directors of The Humane Society of the United States, the Fund for Animals and the Charles M. Schulz Museum. His MUTTS characters have been enlisted by the United States Marines (Toys for Tots), and the American Library Association ('Read!'). They appear on New Jersey Animal Friendly license plates and in animated Public Service Announcements for The Shelter Pet Project. His work has also been animated for a PSA for the NY Philharmonic. MUTTS is currently under development as an animated feature length film for Twentieth Century Fox.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This easily has to be my favorite of the books I've read this fall. The illustrations are cute, the language is cute and the characters are wonderful & memorable. What happens when 3 monsters (or so they call themselves) who live in a castle can't agree on which of them is the BEST monster? Why they make a monster!

What happens when said monster comes out all sugar sweet and with the cutest little lisp and the horrified monster trio thinks they've failed until their monster escapes from the castle and heads toward town? Well, you'll just have to read the book!

My 3 kids (age 3, 5 and 7) love this book. We read it in the car while waiting for Hailey and it's definitely one that will be staying on my shelves! It's a perfect lead into to Halloween, overnighters, birthday parties, and just for fun.

I was given a copy of The Monsters' Monster to read and review on Classic Children's Books. No money exchanged hands and I was not required to write a positive review.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Book Fan 12 on September 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I've been looking for a non-scary halloween story to start reading to my sons and this is the perfect book for us. I wasn't sure this was going to fit the bill when I read the title but I was so wrong. This story is so much fun. Its creative, fun and has a fantastic message. Plus, I love that it is not a Halloween story yet still has that element so we can start to talk about fall fun yet we will be able to read these through out the year. I highly recommend this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on September 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover
When a children's book has the name Patrick McDonnell, a Caldecott Honor Illustrator on it, I set up and take notice. His illustrations in Me . . . Jane (Mcdonnell, Patrick), the story of Jane Goodall when she was a child has become one of my favorite "new" children's books on the shelf. With this offering I am thinking I will add another to that stack of books.

Once, some where, during some time there lived in a large big and scary castle three little monsters who thought themselves the biggest, baddest monsters to be found! They argued constantly who was the baddest of three. Who could complain the loudest? Who was the most miserable? Who could throw the most terrible tantrums? The argument went on and on. One day they decided to build a MONSTERS' monster...the biggest and baddest monster of all in order to end their argument.

At this point they gathered wire, old shoes, smelly old socks, gunk, gauze, goo, staples, tape and tacks with a bit of glue and began their project.

At this point folks...thin Frankenstein!

Well they got the MONSTER built finally and when the lightening hit...guess what? IT'S ALIVE!

Of course things don't work out quite like our three little monsters thought it would but I am not going to tell you what happened because I hate spoilers. Suffice to say that there are lessons to be learned!

This book is the ideal Halloween read for the little ones. It is nonthreatening, not scary and you will get more giggles than screams when you read this one to your child or grandchild.

The art work is pure McDonnell and a delight to they eye. While the text well tells the tale, it is filled with action words with plenty of bangs, crashes and smashes...all in good fun.

When all is said and done there is not much to not like about this read and it most certainly belongs on the book shelf on any child.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martha Freeman on October 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"The Monster's Monster," written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell, has big award written all over it. Get it now, and you'll be able to tell your friends you were ahead of the curve.

Three little monsters, Grouch (who has a horn), Grump (who is hairy), and Gloom'n'Doom (two-headed) throw tantrums, say "no!", and fight with one other all the time.

Like some children I seem to remember, they are very bad ... but not as bad as they aspire to be. Resourcefully, they build themselves a bigger monster in hopes he will do their dirtier work for them.

Only - spoiler alert -- it doesn't go as planned.

When a lightning bolt brings the Frankenstein-like monster to life, he looks around in wonder says, "Dank you! Dank you! Dank you!" then goes on to become about the most delightful monster in the history of literature. I won't spoil the rest, but I will say powdered sugar doughnuts, seagulls and the glistening ocean figure into the denouement.

McDonnell, who draws the Mutts comic strip in much the same understated, white-spacious style used here, won a Caldecott Honor for his highly original biography of Jane Goodall earlier this year. Both books share the underlying theme that the world darned well ought to be marveled at and appreciated, but the Halloween book takes the cake on kid-appeal.

Thoughtful, emotionally meaningful to a child, surprising and funny - "The Monster's Monster" is what a picturebook is supposed to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By KTrimarche on January 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This has hit among the top of our favorite children's books! My almost five year-old son belly laughs in anticipation every time I approach reading a "Dank You!" and I enjoy the sweet sentiments throughout the story. My husband was a big fan of Mutts, which is how I decided on purchasing it as my son's Christmas book - definitely a good choice.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David S. Andersen on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My 5-year old daughter and I give this two thumbs up. It's a charming story and well illustrated. In a glut of mediocre children's books on the market this one stands out.
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