Saturday, July 31, 2010

No More Monsters for Me!

What happens when you break a rule and keep it as a secret? Well, it becomes the monster in the basement which grows and grows until you have to get rid of it. Here is a book for early readers which deals with this in a fun way.

Written by Peggy Parish.
Illustrated by Marc Simont.
Published by HarperTrophy.
Ages : 4-8yrs.
This book is from the I Can Read series, and is categorised under Level 1- Beginning Reading.

Image: Courtesy Amazon.

A very angry Minneapolis Simpkin storms out of the house. Mom has said NO to a pet. So she goes for a long walk, and comes across a baby monster who needs help. This gives her an idea. Mom has not said no for a monster!

So Minneapolis Simpkin takes the monster home and puts it in the basement.

She asks her Mom about monsters. About what they may eat. About where they live. About where they may be found.

But the monster won't remain hidden. It makes a lot of noise. It tries to get out of the basement and come upstairs where Minneapolis is having supper with her mother. It eats all of the apples and potatoes stored in the basement. And it grows and grows until it is huge. But it is still Minneapolis' monster.

Mom thinks it is a new game but wonders why her daughter is so jumpy all of a sudden and keeps running off everytime the monster creates another ruckus in the basement. She does not know that the monster is very real for Minneapolis.

So now Mom begins to have doubts because of Minneapolis' jumpiness.

"Minn," she said, "you were in the basement."
I nodded my head.
"Did you bring home an animal?"
I nodded my head again.
"Minneapolis Simpkin!" yelled Mom. "I said NO PETS!"
"It is not a pet!" I yelled back.
"Then what is it?" yelled Mom.
I did not mean to.
I did not want to. But I started bawling.
"It is a monster!" I bawled.
I waited for Mom to yell. But she didn't.
"Oh, Minn," she said. "You really need a pet, don't you?"
"Yes," I bawled.

So Mom makes a deal with Minneapolis. She gets rid of her monster and Mom gets her a pet. But the monster is now so big that it is difficult to get him out of the basement. How she gets rid of it, and what happens next makes up the rest of the story.

I revisited this book with A and she was in giggles reading it. Both because the text by her favourite Peggy Parish, author of the Amelia Bedelia series (of which she owns the entire collection, re-read countless number of times) is giggle-worthy. And because she now can readily identify with the innocently secretive Minneapolis Simpkin who has a secret but cannot hide it from her mother as it gets too big for her to handle.

Illustrations by Marc Simont are in dark colours suitable for a monster story, yet heartwarming. A google-search for this book also revealed that it has been a part of various teacher plans for first-graders. Worth a read.


ranjani.sathish said...

Lovely pick Sandhya ! I think my "monster loving kids" will love this book :-). Sooraj has a book called "Monsterology" which he adores ! I think Sathish will soon be reviewing that.

utbtkids said...

We love Peggy Parish and it is a easy reader book. We will definitely try it. Thanks.

Vibha said...

Sounds very interesting Sandhya. Great pick.

Choxbox said...

Sounds lovely S. Thanks for bringing this to us!

sandhya said...

Thanks, all.
@Ranjani: Will be looking forward to Satish's review of "Monsterology." The name sounds fabulous.

Choxbox said...

Ranjani, we have Pirateology and Wizardology. This sounds like they are similar type. Off to check.

Choxbox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Choxbox said...

Yes R they are by the same author Dugald Steer, in fact he's done a whole series - Dragonology, Egyptology, Wizardology, Pirateology, Mythology, Monsterology, Spyology, Oceanology, Vampireology, Alienology.

Sheela said...

Thanks, Sandhya, we've only read a couple of Amelia Bedelia, and since Ana couldn't connect with it, I backed off. I will certainly spring this on Ana soon.

sandhya said...

@Choxbox:Hey that's a great find. Will look up this series at the library.

@Sheela: Amelia Bedelia is for slightly older children, 6-9yrs. So it would be a great thing having this book introduce Peggy Parish to Ana.

Here is a bit of trivia on Amelia Bedelia: She is based on a real-life maid at Peggy Parish's home when she lived in Cameroon for some time. There is also a statue of Amelia Bedelia in Manning, South Carolina, which is the hometown of Peggy Parish.

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