Sunday, November 29, 2009

ANOTHER Monster at the End of This Book!!

This is officially my first book purchase for Christmas (although I have others sitting in my cart on Amazon).  Except that I couldn't resist reading it... in the supermarket aisle, crouched down by my son's stroller.  And I can't really in good conscience call it a gift for him, because I was just SO excited to see and buy this.  Whenever people name their favorite children's books, I'm always delighted to see "The Monster at the End of This Book" make so many lists.  I loved the book when I was younger, and of course, for all I knew, I was the only one in the world who read it.  Grover was, after all, clearly talking to ME.  Who knew little kids all over the world were loving it just as much?  

We also own two other  Jon Stone books starring "lovable, furry old Grover" - you can read our reviews of them here:

So, you can imagine my delight when I was skimming the Little Golden Books at the supermarket yesterday and found this:

Another Monster at the End of This Book (Sesame Street Series) , by Jon Stone. My immense enthusiasm at spotting this book was only slightly tempered by my fear at Elmo's presence. (I know many love Elmo, and I'm trying to learn to love him. It is easier in books, when I can't hear his voice). Could this really have the charm of my old-school favorite? YES, it really does! Grover implores both the reader and Elmo not to turn the pages, as Elmo defies him and asks the reader to do the opposite. Ultimately, Grover comes up with a plan: "All right. We will go see the Monster. But just one little peek. When I say, "turn the page," you jump in from the back of the book and I will jump in from the front. We will see the Monster and then we will run like bunny rabbits!" SPOILER Near the end of the book, there is a wonderful two page spread in which Grover and Elmo jump out and frighten each other. Of course, they end up being the monsters at the end of the book. I still can't read this, or the original, without smiling.


"This will stop you from turning pages! I, Grover, have put up a thick, steel wall so no one can ever turn this page. / What do you say to that, little Elmo? Elmo? Where are you Elmo? Elmo is on the next page."

Bookworm's interest at 24 months: To my delight, he happily read the whole thing with me, occasionally giggling. We have a winner.

This got me wondering how many other Jon Stone books in this series I have missed.  So I did some perusing, and I feel fairly certain that we have now read them all.  ("The Monster At the End of this Book" seems to alternately be titled "Please Do Not Open This Book," but looks to be the same book inside).  Can we hope for more sometime?  Sadly, not from Jon Stone, who passed away in 1997.  He certainly left his mark.  RIP.  

Did you enjoy the original as much as I did?  Have you read this sequel?  


Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I have not read either of these books, but after your post I am definitely going to look for them! They sound like so much fun!

maryanne said...

I came *this* close to buying this book when I saw it on our library's "for sale" cart last week. Maybe I'll get insanely lucky and it will still be there when I go there AFTER we get back from Austria?

Raising a Happy Child said...

We read the original, but Anna completely didn't like it. She likes some books from Sesame Street (Target variety), but she is not the child who enjoys suspense :)

Britt said...

We LOVE these books!! I'm not sure Mister completely understands why they're funny, but Boo laughs and that's enough for him. :D

Liz B said...

I love the Monster at the End of the Book! And it's a great example of sophisticated storytelling; the way the "fourth wall" is broken to speak to the reader.

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

Oh! We have that one and the original (from when Mark was little) too! They never get old!

I've got to get cracking on this preparing for Christmas thing.... I feel like I still have so much to do!

mamaTRUE said...

I've always loved the original and my son did too, until we read it recently. He just turned three a couple of weeks ago. The last time I read the book, he got really nervous about the monster that was coming. I tried commenting to him about how it was going to be okay and some monsters are nice but he looked so scared. I wanted to get to the end so he could see it was safe and okay and not just leave partway through when he was scared. We got to the end and even though he was relieved to find it was just Grover and I got him to laugh at Grover saying, "Oh, I am so embarrassed," Cavanaugh said he didn't want to read that book again. Maybe in another six months or so.

the1stdaughter said...

My Turkeybird has loved these books for a long time now. They really are great and it's nice to have something that I remember from my youth to share with him that he loves.

Christy said...

We LOVE the first one. I have to get this one.