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I Need My Monster



Last updated Sunday, February 26, 2012

Author: Amanda Noll
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Date of Publication: 2009
ISBN: 0979974623
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2011

Synopsis: From Booklist:
Noll turns the tables on monster fears by introducing readers to Ethan, a little boy who can’t fall asleep without the ragged breathing and claw-scratching of his favorite monster, Gabe. But Gabe has left a note that he’s gone fishing, so Ethan knocks on his floor to summon a series of substitute ghoulies. Herbert, a horned green thing in a vest, doesn’t even have claws. And Ralph, a four-eyed, six-armed blob, has claws, but they’re painted and manicured. And Cynthia—well, no hard feelings, but a boy wants a boy monster, not a girl. Noll’s slyly humorous text is a suitably wry counterpoint to McWilliam’s dark-hued, exaggerated paintings of the bobble-headed Ethan and his alternately scary and silly beasts. The entire effort strikes a nice balance between creepy and comforting, but especially endearing is Gabe’s early return home as he huddles beneath the bed like a faithful dog and says, “Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to start the evening with an ominous puddle of drool.” That’s friendship for you.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Does anyone have a monster under his or her bed?
•  When you go to sleep at night, is there something that you need so that you can sleep?
•  If so, what is it?

Vocabulary:
•  Ragged-torn or worn; tattered, having loose or hanging shreds.
•  Scrabbling-to scratch or scrape, as with the claws or hands. to grapple or struggle; scrawl; scribble.
•  Inspection-the act of inspecting or viewing, especially carefully or critically; formal or official viewing or examination.
•  Crouched-to stoop or bend low. to bend close to the ground, as an animal preparing to spring or shrinking with fear.
•  Stumpy-of the nature of or resembling a stump; short and thick; stubby; stocky.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  If you had a monster, what would be his/her name?
•  Where would your monster live?
•  How old would your monster be?
•  How big/little would your monster be?
•  Would your monster be scary or sweet?

Craft ideas:
•  Go To Blog and click on the Monster Parts page to download and print it. (Or simply make body parts of your own!)
•  Use the parts however you wish to make the body parts of your monster(s)... Be original!
•  To make your monster's body, take a blank piece of white paper and place your hand flat in the middle with the fingers all touching each other and the thumb close to the pointer. Trace loosely around it!
•  Now you can glue on as many monster parts to your monster's body as you wish.
•  Give your monster a name. Put your monster under your bed, or hang it on your wall.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!