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donnaodonnellfigurski.com - I Need My Monster
I Need My Monster

I Need My Monster
Written by Amanda Noll
Illustrated by Howard McWilliam

Publisher: Flashlight Press
ISBN 9780979974625
Ages 4 to 8

 Review and Lessons Plans
Donna O'Donnell Figurski

Every kid has had a monster under his bed at some time or another, or maybe it was a monster hiding in the closet or stuck in a drawer or trapped under the blankets. But it was there – somewhere – and it was scary. No doubt!

Monsters aren’t real – or are they? In the mind of a small child, monsters can be very real. I remember a long, white, flowing monster in my bedroom when I was about eight. It didn’t help that I lived across the street from a funeral home. I thought a ghost escaped. But it was only my curtains flapping in the night breeze. My mother tried to reassure me. My father said that monsters weren’t real.  But I knew ... it was a monster.

Ethan had a monster too – a long-clawed, ragged-breathing monster that oozed green slime. His monster was perfect. Ethan and his monster lived in harmony, until one day his monster went fishing leaving Ethan all alone. How was Ethan to live without his monster? How was he going to sleep? Ethan did what he had to do. He searched for another monster.

Ethan found monsters with names like Herbert and Ralph. He found a blue monster with a purple tongue. He found monsters with nail polish and pink bows. He even found a yellow-spotted, girl monster. But none of these monsters were Ethan’s monster. He needed his monster! The rest simply were not scary enough.

This review can also be seen on: SmartWriters.
FROM the MOUTHS of KIDDLE CRITers: a critique group

“Ethan’s monster’s name is Gabe,” said Rosie.
“His monster had sharp claws and a spiked tail,” said Daisy.

“He had green slime, too,” said Abby.

“Ooze … green ooze,” corrected Rosie.”

“I think Gabe was the scariest monster ever,” said Mark making a face.

Mikaela shook her head in amazement. “I think it’s weird that someone needs a monster under his bed,” she said.

“Yeah,” said Diego. “If I had a monster under my bed, I wouldn’t get up.”

“I would feel scared,” said Juliana.  “Who wouldn’t? I would scream my lungs out and turn blue.”

“But, Ethan could not sleep without his monster,” explained Brayden.

“He needs his monster,” agreed Abby.

“But his monster went fishing,” said Juliana.

“So he got “sub” monsters,” said Rena. “Just like teachers do.”

“Their names were Ralph, Cynthia, Herbert, and Max,” said Tala.

“Herbert was a pretty funny monster,” said Mikaela. “He had a really pointy moustache.”

“The girl monster looked almost like a caterpillar … a really, really big caterpillar,” said Rena.

“She had six arms,” said Brayden, “ … and nail polish,” he added disgustedly. “You could tell she was a girl, right?”

“Of course that monster was a girl. Girls wear nail polish,” explained Callie.

“Why would a monster wear nail polish?” wondered Jewel.

“That would be crazy,” agreed Callie.

“The problem was that Ethan did not want those substitutes,” said Lucy.

“He thought they weren’t very monster-like,” said Rena.

“Right!” said Rosie. “He wanted a scary monster.”

“ … A monster that had claws,” explained Danae.

“ … A freaky monster with a long, long, long tail,” said Mark.

“ … And green ooze,” repeated Rosie.

“He wanted Gabe back,” said Lucy.

“If I wanted a monster I would want a green monster,” said Brayden.

Danae shook her head. She had a totally different idea. “If I had a monster, I would have a girl monster,” she said. “My monster would have long hair and her skin would be pink.”

Abby giggled. “My monster would be pretty and have two bows on her head,” she said.

“… And lipstick,” added Callie laughing, too.

But she wasn’t good because she was a girl,” said Juliana.

Everyone thinks that girls are not as scary as boys,” said Abby.”

“Girl monsters can be just as scary as boy monsters,” said Danae with conviction.

 “But, why would you even want a monster?” asked Jewel cynically, in her usual way.

“Yeah!” agreed Callie. “Ever since I was really young, I was scared of monsters. I’m nine years old right now, and I am still scared of monsters,” she said and shivered.

Danae agreed. “I used to be afraid of monsters when I was little, too.

“I am not afraid of monsters,” interrupted Abby.

“Now that I am eight years old, I’m not afraid of monsters, either,” said Danae. “They’re not really alive.”

“If monsters really existed and they were in my room,” said Mikaela. “It would be a little creepy.”

“I don’t believe in monsters,” said Callie, “but I am scared of them.”

Mikaela could barely contain herself. “I never believed in monsters,” she said, “because there are no such thing as monsters. Everybody who believes in monsters actually thinks that monsters are going to do something to them. So if they actually exist, there would not be so many people on this planet … because the monsters would eat them or hurt them.”

“Well …” said Brayden putting an end to the discussion. “I seriously don’t believe in monsters.”


MY MONSTER- Made to Order:
Language Arts/Art

Have children design their own monsters. They can be scary or sweet. Ask the children to think about what their monster will look like.

•    Give each child the worksheet below and have him or her fill in the answers to
      describe his or her monster.
•    Next have each child write a short paragraph using the descriptive answers he or 
      she wrote on his or her worksheet.
•    Last have the each child draw a picture of his or her monster. (Encourage the
      children to use as many descriptions as they can.)

List of possible questions: (Add as many more as you like.)

What is your monster’s name?                          ____________
How old is your monster?                                 ____________
What color is your monster?                             ____________
How big/little is your monster?                          ____________
How many arms does your monster have?       ____________
How many eyes does your monster have?        ____________
How many legs does your monster have?          ____________
What does your monster like to eat?                 ____________
What does your monster like to drink?              ____________
Is your monster scary or sweet?                       ____________
Where does your monster live?                         ____________
What kind of hair does your monster have?       ____________

Example of possible paragraph:
My monster’s name is Huggy. She is purple with green stripes and yellow dots. Huggy has pink hair. She has three arms, five legs, and only four eyes. She likes to eat sunflowers and pickles under my bed.

Whose Monster is Whose: Language Arts

Post the monster pictures that the children drew in the above lesson on the wall or on a bulletin board. Then have each child bring his paragraph to the circle-meeting group. Have each child take a turn reading his or her paragraph to the group while the other children try to guess whose monster is whose.

(Although I examined these websites and found them to be very helpful, please use them at your own discretion.)

Build a Monster
Preschool Education Music & Songs: Monsters
ZOOM There’s No Such Thing as Monsters PBS Kids


Clyde Monster
by Robert L. Crowe, illustrated by Kay Chorao
Monster Musical Chairs written by Stuart J. Murphy, illustrated by Scott Nash
The Very Worst Monster written and illustrated by Pat Hutchins
Monster Math written by Anne Miranda, illustrated by Polly Powell
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All contents copyright (c) 2002. Donna O'Donnell Figurski.
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Clip Art courtesy of GraphicGarden.com

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