As a teacher, I love this book because it points out parts of a text in a fun way. And, the simple and repetitive language enables beginning readers to take a turn reading aloud.
As a writer, I love this book because of its heart and its format. Grover is perfectly suited to be the main character with a consistent, teasing, goading voice. Stone’s use of reverse psychology is perfect for the 3-6 year old range. What power the child has when reading this book! By turning a page, they knock down a wall that Grover had built to prevent the page turn!
Several modern-day picture books use similar techniques to their advantage. Mo Willems’ We Are in a Book also uses humorous characters to investigate the parts of a book. Adam Lehrupt’s Do Not Open This Book entices young readers NOT to open the book, and NOT to turn the pages—silly reverse psychology akin to Grover’s. Herve Tullet’s Press Here gives children the power to make magic with their engagement in the book—by doing things such as pressing on a dot or tilting the book, Tullet’s images “move.”
I can’t say for certain if these recent books will all still be in circulation thirty years from now, though I have my hunches. For now, I’m pleased that The Monster at the End of This Book has survived for decades. And as long as there are actual physical books in future decades, this story will continue to be relevant.
What about you? What do you think gives a book staying power?
Don’t be afraid to leave a comment. Even though there is a monster at the top of this post, from what I’ve read, he’s really just a scaredy-cat.