The Monster at the end of this Book
Keep reading if you’re looking for a real nail-biting kind of page-turner… Keep reading…
Based on the television series Sesame Street, The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover is written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin. Grover is horrified to learn that there is a monster at the end of the book; to avoid the monster, Grover begs the readers to not turn the page. The storyline is really more funny than suspenseful, as Grover constructs a series of blockades such as tying the pages together and building a brick wall to prevent the readers from reaching the end of the book.
A humorous story needs humorous illustrations, and Michael Smollin’s stretchy, distinctive pen drawings fit the bill perfectly. Though dated-looking (this book was originally published in the 1970s), the art still has its charm and a classic Golden Book feel to it. The text is hand-drawn in comic book-style word balloons, which gives the words real character. When Grover goes on a rant about the monster, the text is drawn in huge, chunky letters letting readers know the mood of the moment.
It’s a simple but clever little story, teaching young readers that the determination to reach their goals can help overcome obstacles and fear. We are reminded that sometimes our fears, such as a fear of monsters, are not as terrifying as we may think. I won’t spoil the story, so you discover the monster at the end of the book, too. (I’m sure you’re brave and determined enough to find out for yourself.)
The Monster at the end of this Book, a children’s book review by Thao Lam
Author Jon Stone
(April 13th, 1931 to March 30th 1997)
Emmy-winning director, producer and writer Jon Stone was born April 13, 1931, in New Haven, Connecticut. After graduating from Yale University School of Drama with a master’s degree, Stone joined a CBS training program. While working as a writer on the CBS chidlren’s television series, Captain Kangaroo, Stone was asked to write a pilot script for Sesame Street. Stone continued to be a part of the Sesame Street family since its first broadcast in 1969, and he was one of three original producers for the show. Playing many roles behind the scenes, Stone became a director, producer, writer and even creator of many of today’s most beloved Sesame Street characters. Teaming up with Jim Henson, he help developed many Muppet characters like Big Bird and Cookie Monster. Jon Stones was a major contributor to children’s television, and after nearly three decades with the Sesame Street family, Stone passed away on March 30, 1997, from Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Illustrator Michael Smollin
(1925 to 2010)
Michael Smollin was born in 1925 to a Russian father and Polish mother, who had emigrated to the United States before the start of World War I. Raised in East Hampton, Long Island, Smollin attended Cornell University before joining the army during World War II. Sent to fight in the Battle of the Bulge with the 75th Infantry Division, Smollin was injured; while recovering in London, he taught drawing and painting to other service men at the USO (the United Service Organizations). He was awarded a Purple Heart for his shrapnel wounds and was honorable discharged.
Returning to United States, Smollin received tuition to study advertising design at the Pratt Institute in New York. Upon graduating, he quickly climbed the corporate ladder and became one of advertising’s most successful creative directors, winning numerous awards and an Emmy for his work. Seeking a more active role in the arts, Smollin walked away from the business world, worked on his portfolio and went looking for a rep. Smollin came to illustrate over 50 children’s books before passing away this past September at the age of 85.
Publisher Random House Books for Young Readers (June 27, 2000)