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The Monster Who Ate Darkness Hardcover – October 14, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Hardcover, October 14, 2008
$13.59 $3.69

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—Under Jo-Jo's bed lurks a "tiny speck of a monster" with a "big empty feeling." This endearingly unscary creature discovers a taste for darkness and eats up even the dimmest corners of the room. Growing bigger with each feast, he devours the darkness in attics and chimneys before moving on to caves and volcanoes. When the creature stops his feeding frenzy, he realizes that his insatiable hunger has created a "lonely planet" with "no shadows and hardly any dreams." Jo-Jo, who is normally afraid of the dark, can't fall asleep in the endless daylight. As the compassionate monster cradles the little boy in his arms and soothes him with a lullaby, the evening shades return. Liao's digitally enhanced pen and watercolor illustrations humorously capture the mayhem caused by lack of darkness, such as owls falling out of treetops and bats hanging right side up. A clever twist on a perennial bedtime theme.—Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Joyce Dunbar is the author of many books for children, including TELL ME SOMETHING HAPPY BEFORE I SLEEP, a bestseller, and SHOE BABY, illustrated by her daughter, Polly Dunbar. Joyce Dunbar lives in England.

Jimmy Liao is an award-winning Taiwanese illustrator who has generated a devoted following in his home country for his wonderfully original drawings. He has written and illustrated some twenty-seven books which have sold more than five million copies.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763638595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763638597
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.4 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #716,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
"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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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