Additional Book Information
Series: The New York Review Children's Collection
Publication Date: March 23, 2020
Meet MonsterThe First Big Monster Book
by Ellen Blance and Ann Cook, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Have you met Monster? He’s not scary or mean like other monsters. He’s kind of tall and his head is skinny, and he’s purple. He’s curious about everything: the city, the river, houses, cars, trains, and what people look like, the park, the kids, the swings, the stores and clothes and stuff. It is all new to him. “Monster thinks the city is fine so he thinks he will live here.” So begins the story of gentle, playful Monster, who conducts himself with grace and courtesy, and in short order finds a home, a best friend, and a bunch of kids to play with.
First introduced in 1973, Monster returns in this omnibus edition of the first six stories of an extended emerging-reader series written not only for children, but also by them. Educators Ellen Blance and Ann Cook worked with schoolchildren to write stories a child would want, and be able, to read. While most children’s books are meant to be read by adults to children, these are stories children can read to themselves or to adults. The book includes illustrations by the illustrious Quentin Blake.
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I am delighted that Monster is out and about again as lively and beautifully coloured as ever, and making lots of new friends of all kinds.
[This] series of learn-to-read books starring a friendly, lanky, purple monster became a sensation with students and teachers in the 1970s and ’80s . . . [E]ven after many years, they feel fresh in their category.
—Shannon Maughan, Publishers Weekly
This gentle, playful monster like no other first came on the scene in 1973, thanks to educators Ellen Blance and Ann Cook, who had the bright idea to let schoolchildren help bring Monster to life. He’s back in this omnibus edition, featuring the first six stories in their easy-reading magnificence, marvelously illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake from the equally brilliant minds at [New York Review Books].
—Colin McDonald, Publishers Weekly
I suspect that, secretly, [Quentin Blake] probably does have a magic pencil . . . he defies the limits of the visual by evoking sound: saucepans crash, birds screech, flutes toot. His hairy monsters, weird animals, knowing children and baffled adults threaten to leap off the paper. Noses point, arms flap, legs twist at impossible angles . . . Movement, freedom, escape are of the essence. And in every case, the open line and feeling of improvisation allow readers space to let their own imagination work on how characters might look and behave.
—Jenny Uglow, The Guardian