Who doesn’t love a good story about monsters eating people? The 2019 Missouri Building Block nominees “Eat Pete,” “I Just Ate My Friend” and “Beware the Monster” are three hilarious books that cover this topic. Each one of these stories features a cute monster up to some mischief. Kids love these books because of their illustrations, funny storytelling and the creative monsters that are featured in each book.
“Eat Pete” by Michael Rex
In “Eat Pete,” a monster climbs in through Pete’s window! Pete isn’t scared of this monster—he’s excited because he wants someone to play with him. The monster plays along for a bit, but he wants to eat Pete! Pete is unaware of the danger as they go on imaginary adventure after adventure, setting up parking lots, having races, becoming pirates looking for treasure and so many more! While the monster has a lot of fun, he eventually gobbles up Pete. As he continues to play, now alone, the monster feels regret. He spits Pete out and apologizes for eating him. The two make up and continue to be friends. It’s a cute book about treating people with respect and valuing friendship.
“I Just Ate My Friend” by Heidi McKinnon
The book opens with a cute little orange monster feeling regret after eating his friend. He is terrified that he has eaten his only friend in the world. After going on a journey asking others to be his friend, our little orange monster finds a new friend: a little blue monster. The book continues on with them being friends, until, unfortunately, the blue monster gobbles up the new orange friend and the book restarts with the line, “I just ate my friend.” It’s a very short and sweet book that touches on valuing friendship and understanding what happens if you lose a friend.
“Beware the Monster” by Michaël Escoffier
“Beware the Monster” by Michaël Escoffier and illustrated by Amandine Piu is a cute book with very colorful images. The setting is in a forest, and the pages rotate between a far away and close up perspective. The narrative follows a very hungry and very scary monster. First, the monster starts with eating the apples, then the trees, the cows, and lastly, he comes to eat the child reading the book. The child escapes because the monster has eaten too much and made himself sick, so he decides to take a nap instead. Escoffier makes the book interactive, with the narrator talking directly to the people holding the book.
If you’re looking for some fun songs to go along with your monsters-eating-people literature, I have a couple of favorites about monsters and friendship. The first one features lots of fun vocabulary words that your child will enjoy as you identify parts of the body as you sing.
Monsters here, monsters there
Monsters, monsters everywhere!
Monsters on my shoulders,
Monsters on my toes,
Monsters on my belly,
And monsters on my nose!
Monsters on my arms,
Monsters on my lips,
Monsters on my knees,
And monsters on my hips!
Monsters here, monsters there,
Monsters, monsters everywhere!
If you’re looking for a fun classic friendship song to teach your little monster, I recommend this one below. It’s one I learned in my Girl Scout days, and, along with Baby Shark, it’s still one I remember today:
“Make New Friends”
Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
And the other, gold.
A circle’s round.
It has no end.
That’s how long,
I’m gonna be your friend.
If you’ve talked about friends and gone through all the body parts vocabulary you want, but your kiddo still wants more monster fun, I recommend doing a white crayon monster art activity.
You will need:
- Black paper
- White crayons
- Gel pens
- Basically anything that will show up on black paper
Use your white crayons, chalk, gel pens or other materials to draw a monster on black paper. While drawing, feel free to engage your child with their drawing. Give your child prompts like, “Would you be friends with this monster? Why?”
Remember to vote for your favorite!
Once you and your kiddos have read at least five of the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees (located at your library or bookmobile with a fun yellow bear sticker on the spine), encourage your child to vote for their favorites! Kiddos aged kindergarten or younger are eligible to vote. It’s a fun way to introduce the concept of voting to kiddos. Voting is open until December and the winner is announced in February.