August 12, 2005

Book Review Contest: Go Away, Big Green Monster!


Title: Go Away, Big Green Monster!
Author/Ilustrator: Ed Emberly
Reviewer: John Crimmins

I'll get the downside out of the way first: Hand this book to your
child, and he'll destroy it in three seconds flat. It's not available
in board book format, inexplicably.

That said, it's a wonderful book. Page by page, the reader assembles
a monster. "Big yellow eyes", "Long blue-green nose", "Scraggly
purple hair"...all done with die-cut pages that reveal the features in
question one-by-one.

Once the monster (who, despite his "Sharp white teeth", looks more
goofy than scary) is entirely present, he's told that "You don't scare
me!" and the reader proceeds to DISassemble him piece by piece. And
when the monster is entirely gone, he's told not to come back "Until I
say so!"

From an educational standpoint, you can use the book to teach your kid
about the parts of the face. And colors, of course. And there's
undoubtedly some sort of lesson to be learned about taking control of
a monster instead of being scared by it.

What matters, though, is that the book is fun Kids get a chance to
yell at the book, as they tell each piece of the monster to "Go away!"
And they love putting him together and taking him apart. I'm a
children's librarian, and I've used this book in storytimes with
infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. All of whom loved it. Almost
inevitably, the kids make me read it a second time as soon as I'm

As mentioned, I doubt that your personal copy would actually survive
four or five years in a child's presence (those die-cut pages rip
really easily) but it's a book well worth buying two or three times.

Check out at Amazon

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