(Grown ups have some strange ideas about monsters under beds.)
I knocked on the floorboards, then scrambled back under the covers.
I waited nervously.
Would a new monster appear?
What would he be like?
Would his snorting be as cheerful as Gabe’s?”
–From “I Need My Monster” by Amanda Noll
Little kids can come up with some interesting bedtime requests: bugs, for instance. My son used to cry for his jar of bugs at bedtime. “I want my bugs mommy!” he’d cry. He loved his grasshoppers and ladybugs so much he wanted them to sleep in the bed with him. It never failed to crack me up to see his pudgy little fingers happily wrapped around a mason jar of insects as he slipped into slumber.
For caregivers who have children with similarly exotic bedtime demands, Amanda Noll’s award winning book “I Need My Monster” is a perfect fit. Her quirky, slightly macabre take on the monster lurking under the bed will have kids giggling. At bedtime little Ethan peeks under the bed expecting to see a monster but instead finds a note from his monster Gabe, who has gone fishing.
While most kids would be relieved to have a monster-free week of bedtimes, Ethan is distraught. The point of monsters under the bed is to scare kids into staying in the bed so they can fall asleep, after all.
When substitute monsters arrive, Ethan sends them packing…a monster without claws?
A monster with claws, but they have been…ewwww…manicured?
A GIRL monster?!
Boys need boy monsters.
Poor Ethan grows increasingly exasperated because without Gabe, his favorite monster, he may never get to sleep.
When one monster tries to scare Ethan with is extremely long tongue, he simply giggles as he says, what are you going to do to me…lick me? Long tongues just aren’t scary enough.
Howard McWilliam illustrated the book with incredible cartoon-style artwork of Ethan and his missing monster plight that is both endearing and disturbing. Together with Knoll the ingenious storybook duo have turned the monster under the bed concept on its head and their darkly witty take on it have made bedtimes a little less frightening for children everywhere.
If your monster has taken a fishing break, you can read about Ethan and his lack of a monstrous bedtime by picking up a copy of this cute book here. Book publisher Flashlight Press also has an online copy of the book available here, but we promise you’ll still want a copy of your own to share with the kids.