Review Blog

Dec 01 2017

I want to be in a scary story by Sean Taylor

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Ill. by Jean Jullien. Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406363463
Ages: 3 - 7) Highly recommended. Picture Book. Little Monster is the cute, purple coloured cartoon character of this tale. The text spoken by LM is in matching purple. He clearly loves stories and announces to the narrator that he would like to be in one himself (herself?) Nowhere is Little Monster's gender identified but seems male for whatever reason I can't quite put my finger on which probably reflects on my upbringing. Certainly though, any little girl monster reading the story is in no way excluded.
The story he would like to be in needs to be scary so he says. The narrator, having a sound understanding of little one's psyche better than he does, suggests maybe a funny story would be a more suitable idea. The very bold and brave LM however, disagrees and insists on "scary". The story begins to unfold with the setting of spooky houses and forests and suggestions by the narrator to populate it with witches and ghosts. As each page turns, the little reader can see LM's consternation unfolding at the thought of personally encountering these challenges and LM saves face by announcing that he would definitely prefer to be the one to do the scaring. Even that obviously has its less than acceptable challenges and so LM takes the narrative direction into his own hands. He creates the wonderful compromise of a funny, scary story that suits his specifications down to the ground. He, of course, enjoyed it so much, he would like to be in another story again tomorrow.
I enjoyed reading this book and I'm pretty sure my 4 year old granddaughter is going to enjoy exploring "scary's" acceptable boundaries with me as we read it.
Elizabeth Avery

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