The Monster at the End of This Book

For my Friday Pick{ture Book} this week I have chosen the 2011 Cybils book app winner, The Monster at the End of This Book. This is a really fun Sesame Street app, starring Grover, which is based on a picture book originally published in 1971.

When Grover reads the title of the book, he is scared and asks you not to turn any pages so that we never get to the end of the book to meet the monster. Each time you do turn the page, he comes up with ever more elaborate and frantic ways to stop you turning the next one. You need to put on your best Grover voice for this quote:

Shhhh Listen, I have an idea. If you do not turn any pages, we will never get to the end of this book. And that is good, because there is a Monster at the end of this book. So please do not turn the page…. Wait… what are you doing…. are you looking at it? … do not touch it!!!!

Little Miss Chatterbox, aged not-quite-3, was so disturbed by the idea that there was a monster at the end of the book that she refused to finish it. Grover was just a little too persuasive for her unfortunately. But Mr Tall (soon-to-be-5) and I decided we were definitely brave enough to take on the challenge! And of course Mr Tall loved doing the exact opposite of what he was being asked to do. Isn’t it great as a child to be given permission to be contrary! (Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App is in the same vein.)

Cue lots of giggles as we deliberately disobeyed Grover, pinging open his carefully tied knots, tearing down his wooden planks and reducing his brick wall to a dusty pile of rubble.

Of course, after all the build-up, there is a lovely surprise at the end of the book, and Grover can sleep more easily in his bed tonight.

A nice touch is the addition of parent notes alongside the book, such as advice on how to discuss common childhood fears, tips to enhance reading the story, and suggested activities.

We thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is very easy to navigate, smooth (despite some minor delays between pages) and the instant rapport between Grover and the reader is lovely to watch. I always enjoy books which encourage my child to talk to the main character. It is easy to see why it won the Cybils award last year. This weekend it is on sale for £0.69/$0.99 which is well worth taking advantage of. The sequel, Another Monster at the End of this Book starring Grover and Elmo is also on sale. If you enjoy the first book, the sequel is almost as much fun, although there is a good chance you will be able to guess the ending.

The Monster at the End of This Book developed by Sesame Workshop Apps/Callaway Digital Arts Inc. Compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Available from http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/monster-at-end-this-book…starring/id409467802?mt=8 priced at £0.69/$ 0.99 at time of writing. (This is a limited sale price until the end of this weekend only, so grab it quickly!)

The Monster at the End of this Book was written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael J. Smollin, originally published by Golden Books in 1971. Published in the UK by Random House inc. board book edition (2000)  ISBN-10: 0375805613 ISBN-13: 978-0375805615

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