Books Are Pretty

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Monster at the End of This Book.

Hello, everybodeee! Is there a U.S. citizen born after 1970 that hasn't at one point thought this book was the funniest thing ever written? Even Steve from Blue's Clues named this book (written by Grover himself, and I don't care what the book cover says) as his childhood favorite.

Our copy had been damaged, so Alex and I went to the bookstore to buy Christopher another copy. When I asked the clerk if they had any copies in stock, his eyes got very wide and a big smile stretched across his face.

"Oh! I loved that book when I was little! I was about four, and I made my mother read it over and over. I thought it was the funniest thing I'd ever heard!"

"Me, too!" I said, "and now my three year old loves it, too!"

And we both shared this warm, furry, blue-felt moment of happiness and comeraderie, all thanks to the spirit of the American Muppet.

Seriously, Jim Henson's muppets are as good as it gets for children's television, and as much as I generally hate book tie-ins to children's television shows, old school Sesame Street rocks in any medium. The Monster at the End of This Book should be handed out to new mothers in hospitals, along with those diaper coupons and the alcohol pads for the umbilical cord stump.

The plot, for those of you who, for whatever reason, have been deprived of this book in your childhoods, centers around Grover's fear that there is a monster at the end of the book, and everything will be all right as long as you do not turn the page. Which of course, you do, and Grover screams "Nooooooooo! I said noooooooooo! Do not turn the page!" And of course you turn another, and Grover tries everything he can think of to stop you from turning pages, from nailing the pages shut to bricking up the pages, but of course, his efforts are no match for your mighty toddler strength. As Grover becomes increasingly hysterical, the three-year-old you've got on your lap also becomes increasingly hysterical, until the last page is finally here, and ultimately the dramatic confrontation with whatever is at the end of the book.

This is not, by any means, a bedtime story, but it is, by any means, a book your children need in their library.

The Monster at the End of This Book
by Jon Stone Grover!
illustrated by Michael Smollin
Random House for Young Readers
Board Book
24 pages
Age Appropriate for 2-5 years.

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