Recommended for ages 3-6
Our big, blue Monster and his best buddy, Boy, are back – and this time, they’re taking on going to school! Monster needs to go to school, but he’s really nervous. He didn’t really have anything to worry about, though – he has a great first day and makes lots of new friends – and even stops bullying when he sees it on the playground.
This latest entry into the Monster & Me series takes a fun look at starting school, giving little ones who may be getting ready for Pre-K or Kindergarten an idea of what to expect (and reinforcing these ideas for kids already in daycare and pre-k programs): learning the ABCs, raising your hand when you want to speak, and inviting others to play at recess. Monster also has an important lesson: when he sees bullying on the playground, he stops it right in its tracks. The fact that the would-be bullies are Monster’s friends drives home an even more important point about standing up for others, even if you have to call your friends out on their behavior. It’s not an easy lesson to teach, but Czajak and Monster do it in the best way; having Monster say, “I know we’re friends, but teasing’s wrong. It’s something I despise. No one should be ridiculed. There is no compromise.”
Wendy Grieb’s artwork is inclusive, featuring multiethnic classmates and teachers. Monster is big, blue, and lovable, with a toothy smile and a bushy tail. If this is a child’s first introduction to Monster and friends, they’ll jump right in and enjoy the bright colors, lovable monster, and the rhyming text that invites kids to sit back and enjoy a story about how exciting school is.
This is a great addition to collections, especially for little ones getting ready to move up to Pre-K and Kindergarten. My little guy is starting Pre-K in the Fall (how did that happen so fast?), so I’ll be reading this to him all summer to get him ready for the new routine he’ll discover. Schools and libraries should add this to collections to ease new students into the coming school year. I’ll be booktalking this to my parents at storytimes all summer, myself.
The Monster & Me series includes Monster Needs His Sleep, Monster Needs a Costume, Monster Needs a Christmas Tree, Monster Needs a Party, and Monster Needs Your Vote. Each book has new ideas to teach Monster and the readers who come along for the ride. The series is a 2015 Silver Moonbeam Children’s Book Award winner for Best Picture Book series. Mighty Media has a Monster & Me webpage where you can learn more about the books and download event kits loaded with resources for parents and educators!