Meet Monster, by Ellen Blance and Ann Cook

Meet Monster: Six Stories About the World's Friendliest Monster, by Ellen Blance and Ann Cook, illustrated by Quentin Blake.

Back in 1973, Blance and Cook teamed up with ordinary kids to create the six stories about a kindly, friendly monster--stories prefect for the young reader just finding their reading feet. Marshall Cavendish has just brought it out again for a new generation to enjoy.

"A monster comes to this city to live.

Monster is not ugly like other monsters. He's very tall, and his head is skinny."

And monster needs a house to live in, so he looks and looks till he finds one that's just right. Some are not right.

"This house is dark all over. Not many things happen in this house.

He can't live here."

(isn't that rather brilliant?)

But he finds a tall, thin house that's perfect for a tall, thin monster.

And monster needs to make his house tidy, and he needs a friend, and it's always nice to meet another monster....

Quentin Blake's illustrations bring Monster to charming life in true Blake style. And the end result is an easy chapter book that seems to me just utterly spot on for a kid learning how to read.

Knowing that this was a reissue of an earlier book, I read with gimlet eyes, looking for things that might seem odd to a reader in 2011. The only thing I noticed was that the authors use "fine" quite a bit, as in "it will look really fine." "Fine" seems to be falling by the wayside these days....nice, I guess, rules supreme!

At any event, if Marshall Cavendish had released this just three years earlier, I would have bought it in a shot for my little one! It is just fine (actually, what with Blake's illustrations, it's considerably more than fine--I'd go so far as to say very nice indeed).

(I'd especially recommend this one to the five year old (or thereabouts) who's moving to the big city. It makes the big city seem like a place in which one might be able to live....although I still have my doubts).

disclaimer: book received (just yesterday! It was the first one I read from the big box I got--I was drawn to it) from the publisher.


  1. This seems like a perfect book for my 1st grader. She loves monster stories. Great review.

  2. When I saw this cover at ALA I just about fell over with surprise and delight - I immediately remembered it as one of my favorite easy readers when I was a child! I can't wait to get a copy for my library and share it with a new generation!

  3. How sweet! How on earth did I miss this one as a kid? I'm going to have to hunt this down for my younger two girls. (And I just adore Quentin Blake.)


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