When a Monster is Born written by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Nick Sharratt.
This is a brilliant picture book which I always enjoy sharing with children. When I was a Year 3 teacher, I used to always read lots of picture books to my class as they absolutely loved them! Often I would come back into class after lunch and a picture book was placed on my chair as a hint for me to read another book to the class! Although, it was almost always this book – “When a Monster is Born!” This book was a real hit and it always made me smile every time I saw it on my chair as I loved reading the story to my class. It didn’t matter how many times I read it to them – we still smiled and enjoyed the book together!
When a monster is born, there are two possibilities – either it is faraway-in-the-forests monster, or … it’s an under-your-bed monster. If it’s a faraway-in-the-forests monster, that’s that but if it’s an under-your-bed monster, all sort of comical things can happen. The story moves through a monster’s life from birth to growing up and with each stage the author presents two possibilities that the monster could take and follows one of the two choices. The story has a range of funny scenarios such as bringing a monster to school or marrying one until the plot comes full circle and another monster is born! With the right set of decisions and outcomes, the monster can live a very happy life.
The illustrations in this book are great! The alternating black and white backgrounds and bold colours leap off the page and with its silly humour and over the top story line, this is a great, engaging book that children will love and request the story to be read over and over again! This is definitely a fun-filled book and it is great to read aloud to your class.
Possible activities after reading the book:
- Design their own monster. What will he look like? What will he enjoy doing in his monster life? Write a description of their monster using lots of adjectives, smiles and metaphors.
- Make a 3D paper and paste model of their monster!
- Write monster poems! Here are a couple of examples written by two ex-Anton pupils – Ben and Joe – clearly inspired by the book!
FIZZY FINDS A FRIEND!
Once there was a monster,
He was simple, small and sweet.
But he was always falling over,
Because he had twelve tiny feet.
Since he was always tumbling down,
He could get rather dizzy.
He was brave and bubbly,
Which is why he is called Fizzy.
Monster Fizzy had few friends,
He was always on his own.
He wanted someone he could talk to,
So he picked up the phone.
He meant to call his mother,
But he dialled the number wrong.
The Chinese takeaway answered,
So fizzy ordered egg-foo-yong.
The person who delivered his meal,
Was a lovely girl called Lizzy.
He invited her to dine with him,
She said, “I can’t because I’m busy.”
“However,” said lovely Lizzy,
“You may be on a winner;
I’ll be your friend for life,
If you take me out for dinner!”
Look at me, what do you see?
Why are people afraid of me?
Just because I have big teeth,
I am not here to give you grief.
Just because my eyes are red,
Please don’t hide under your bed.
Just because my arms are long,
Doesn’t mean I’ll do you wrong.
You see, no matter what you think of me,
I wouldn’t even harm a bee.
All I want is to have a cuddle,
But when I get you, you just struggle.
Look past my features and into my mind,
I am a monster, who is very kind.
It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,
Snuggle, squeeze and cuddle you!