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That Monster on the Block Hardcover – October 1, 2020
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"There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a Spider" by Jennifer Ward
From the creators of the bestselling There Was an Old Monkey Who Swallowed a Frog comes a spooky rendition of the popular “Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” song. | Learn more
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“This humorous, fast-paced story, narrated with clipped sentences, conveys an important, unsubtle message about the importance of accepting diversity…This entertaining tale about making new friends may also help readers conquer their fear of clowns.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A closed-minded monster begins to broaden his perspective as a group of familiar Halloween characters address otherness and tolerance…With the good times rolling all around him, Monster’s resolve softens, and he starts opening up to making a friend. The proceedings are energetic and fun—with onomatopoeic words and boldly hued digital artwork that toggles between spot illustrations, smaller panels, and spreads.” —Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Sue Ganz-Schmitt was born on the Fourth of July and grew up in Sherman Oaks, California. She now lives in the mountains of Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. She is the author of many picture books, including the popular Planet Kindergarten and Planet Kindergarten: 100 Days in Orbit, both illustrated by Shane Prigmore. Sue is the cofounder of a children’s musical theater program, a philanthropist, and a space enthusiast. She has traveled to China to help medically challenged orphans and set up a birthing clinic in rural India. She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Learn more at www.sueganzschmitt.com.
Luke Flowers is the illustrator of more than fifty children’s books, including the New York Times bestseller A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with poems by Fred Rogers and Disney’s The Muppet Christmas Carol storybook. Growing up, Mister Rogers and Kermit the Frog were two characters that inspired his dream to become an artist, so these were milestone books to bring to life. He is also both the author and illustrator of the Moby Shinobi series. Luke grew up with a love for all things Halloween and classic monster movies, and although he’s never been a clown, Luke does enjoy puppeteering, playing banjo, and having wacky adventures with his family. He lives with his wife and three children in Colorado Springs. Learn more about his story, books, and art at www.lukeflowers.com.
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Grade Level : Preschool - 3
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1542005337
- ISBN-13 : 978-1542005333
- Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
- Reading level : 4 - 8 years
- Publisher : Two Lions (October 1, 2020)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I get that it was supposed to show that Clown was nice, but he could have just been nice. He could have been rightfully frustrated by his unwelcoming neighbors and not gone out of the way to help them 24/7 and he still would have deserved respect, but that's a message that didn't come through, imo.
PLOT: Monster is excited about his new neighbor – until he realizes that it's a clown! Neighborhood meetings are held. Ostracism is preached. But Clown wins everyone over, including Monster. By the time the next new neighbor moves in, minds and hearts have been opened.
TEXT: Small print. Concise. Clever. Second grade and above.
ARTWORK: Loved it.
- Good story.
- Encourages empathy.
- Helps children learn about mythological Halloween creatures in a non-scary setting.
BEST READ BY: You to your child the first time. This book should be talked about.
NOTE: I was not far into this book before I realized that this tale was less about monsters than about modern-day race relations. (Or was it? Given the current political climate, the lens through which I viewed this book may not be what the author intended. But it is nevertheless how I viewed this book.) In my mind, this book quickly became not about a clown moving into a neighborhood of monsters but about an African-American moving into a white neighborhood. The fear. The gossip. The instant ostracism. The neighborhood meetings. The horror that this clown would be living on their block. (“There goes the neighborhood!” “Before you know it there will be more!”) My heart just sank; it was painful to read.
On the plus side, everyone does come around, including the ringleader. When the next new non-monster neighbor arrives, he is ready to greet them with kindness.
On the minus side, everyone comes around because Clown puts in extraordinary effort to win them over. He's friendly. He's helpful. He goes around to every home. He leaves presents when doors won't be open to him. In short, he does far more to win over his leery neighbors than anyone should ever have to.
BOTTOM LINE: Good as a Halloween tale. Great as a tale on not being a closed-minded jerk.
(This book was acquired through my daughter's Amazon account and shared through the "share with family" feature.)
I am probably being a bit harsh but I have read soooooo many children's books to my boy that I can say this is not the worst by any means but about average thus the 3 stars.
The pages are cluttered, which interrupts the flow of the story and I docked 1 star for that. When I'm reading a story to a child I want to hit each line one after another. I found myself trying to riddle out which line should be next in this book. The good news is the story line is unaffected if one line is read before another, for the most part.
The illustrations, though crammed together, are playful and quirky. Children are sure to enjoy the craziness swirling around. I had fun reading each monster's voice as written - the drawings give gobs of inspiration.
Top reviews from other countries
Nice to read children/ class tho get them thinking about making new friends at school or in their neighbourhood along with change and people being different. Especially when they may have had a long time away from other outside children (covid).
Nice for children to read to themselves and spot all of the fun little pictures and changes e.g. how the vampire house actually looks like a vampire and when Clown redecorates it 、it looks like a clown etc.
One of the things I most miss during the pandemic is browsing in bookshops and looking for colourful stories for the children in my life, hence why I chose this! This is a really good story with a clear message which is presented in a colourful way and is easy to understand. The illustrations are excellent and I’m sure young children will really appreciate them as they are a lot of fun. The ending is really good and makes you smile.
WTG the author!