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Glad Monster, Sad Monster Hardcover – September 1, 1997
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On a side note...I will say that I've never been able to really use the fold out pages (that has eye holes for you to look through...so you can be one of the monsters)....the book's a bit unwieldy that way. But I just ignore that part of it and just read the book like I would any other.
After the "mad monster" gets mad at a kid knocking down his blocks....I ask my son - What makes you mad? And then..."What makes you sad? - Happy?" - and so on.
When you tell kids to stop yelling or throwing things (or whatever your kid might do to show frustration) sometimes they interpret it as, "We're not allowed to be angry." Which'll make them robots when they grow up. This book opens the discussion up for them.
This is a fun and imaginative book that can be utilized alone by a child to experiment with the faces or masks depending on what they want to call them. You can involve more than one child and adult and use the colors to interact with other toys to pick which feeling they are.
It did not disappoint. My middle son loves to run around with the tear out masks and acts out the emotions.
I would imagine this would be a great book for kids on the autistic spectrum as it focuses on emotion and facial expression recognition.
The masks come out and there is a pocket in the back to hold them in. Of course they still get left out and ripped up, though. But it's nice that they thought of the pocket. We tried very hard to keep them safe for a couple of weeks!
My son and I will reference what color monster we feel like sometimes to help express our feelings. I can ask him what color monster he feels like when he seems a little overwhelmed with emotion, which helps him to stop and reflect on his feelings so we can better address the problem. It's also a little more meaningful when I tell him, for example, that I feel like the blue monster because he is jumping on me and it hurts.
Also, and this was of his own design, he uses his "monster friends" to help protect him from his blinds. The tree outside his window sometimes scrapes his window, so he's afraid of his blinds. But he'll call his monster friends and/or lay their masks around his bed to help him feel safe. He prefers the green monster, to better scare off whatever is scaring him.
It's colorful. It engages a kid with the shapes and faces. And its' just a fun book.
If you're like me, any book that encourages a child to pick it up and turn every page until the end is a good book. Just because a book like this doesn't have a story, or a moral lesson to teach, doesn't mean it's not a good book. Kids like this book because it's fun and that makes it a winner!
There is some educational value to it in that it talks about emotions (It shows different faces to match the monsters' emotions). That's good stuff, but it's not the strength of this book. The strength of this book is how much fun it is and how stimulating it is to a child's imagination.