Yesterday was “National Friendship Day.” To all my cyber-friends and fantastic readers, I am thrilled to know you! I also have a new friend in my life. Her name is Molly, she’s eight-years-old, and her four paws follow me everywhere. (The kitties are adjusting fine to a dog that pays them no mind—except for the occasional nose-to-nose greeting.)
Plus, I have wonderful character-friends in Boy and Monster who—with Paul Czajak and Wendy Grieb—have a new picture book in their award-winning Monster & Me series. This new, relevant picture book is entitled Monster Needs Your Vote. So forget about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and . . .
VOTE FOR MONSTER!
Monster & Me #5: Monster Needs Your Vote
Written by Paul Czajak
Illustrated by Wendy Grieb
Mighty Media Kids 8/25/2015
32 pages Age 2—6 +
“Today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders. Election season is finally here, and Monster can’t wait to run for president. But getting voters to care about his campaign is harder than it looks—until he finds a monstrous cause worth fighting for. Show your kids that whether you’re blue, red, or 9 feet tall and furry, real change can come from the most unexpected places (even if you’re not technically qualified to run for office).” [publisher website]
The Monster & Me series has been one of my favorites since Monster needs a [Halloween] Costume. Always fresh, humorous, and on point, Monster & Boy give children young and old enjoyable stories for anytime of the day, not simply at bedtime. But, if you enjoy giggles, smiles, and sweet Monster dreams, each of the Monster & Me books are perfect for a bedtime reading—night, after night, after night . . .(how many editions are there?)
Monster Needs Your Vote, the 5th Monster & Me picture book, is a timely story given the beginning of the presidential nominations and soon the 2016 election. Monster runs into a few Presidential candidates while at the fair. He decides he must vote in this election. Boy nicely tells Monster he is not old enough to vote—he’s not yet eighteen! Undeterred, Monster decides if he cannot vote he will participate in the election by running for President of the United States. Boy, Monster’s constant companion, tells Monster he needs a “platform.” (One of many larger-election terms that will have children learning new words.) Monster’s platform is one kids will love and understand but, voting adults just do not comprehend the importance of Monster’s platform—or his next.
Monster’s second platform, a black and white illustration, with period clothes, will remind most adults of the 1930s and a famous election quote. Only when Monster sees a closed sign does he find the issue/platform with the potential to propel Monster to Mr. President Monster. The other Presidential contenders begin to look discouraged, until . . . dear Monster receives horrible news from two dull-looking men—government types. In the end, Monster wins . . . just not the Presidency.
It is clear to me that Monster makes the perfect candidate, given his persistence, comic antics, and Boy’s unwavering support. Like most candidates, Monster runs into a few problems along the way. With each problem, Monster rallies back stronger and more determined. He learns to take a stand for things he believes in, despite all those set-backs. With Boy’s campaign advice and encouragement, Monster finds the courage he needs to persist. Monster is infectious on the campaign trail and is adorable in his organic presidential blue suit.
Wendy Grieb’s illustrations have remained consistent between books, helping to endear the Monster & Me brand. Her palette is bright when needed, like the stunningly red full-page background that makes Monster and Boy POP! I enjoyed all the wonderful details on each spread. Boy is not the only kid to have a Monster pal. One young girl rides upon an ostrich-like bird with Big Bird-ish legs; an oval, purple body with green feathers; a giraffe-like neck; and a prehistoric-like pelican head. I love this highly imaginative monster, along with all the other new, maybe-old-enough-to-vote monsters that stand among the adults. Sadly, a few monsters are kidless, so I hope there is a matching service for kids and monsters somewhere on the Internet.
Paul Czajak’s newest Monster & Me picture book is perfect for the upcoming elections. Though written for preschool children older kids will enjoy Monster’s political career while learning the basics of U. S. Elections. This means Czajak often used an election-related higher vocabulary: cast, platform, issues, oratory, grassroots, and mission to name a few. Grab a dictionary kids—one you must flip through to find a word—it’s time to expand your vocabulary. Which brings me to what is probably the first negative thing I have ever said about this humorous and often educational Monster & Me series. Given the number of election and campaign words Czajak so deftly included in his story, a glossary would have been a welcome addition.∗
Monster Needs Your Vote is written in rhyme with the sing-song quality I love. Parents won’t mind multiple reads thanks to Czajak’s strong voice, and the words and verses which leave your lips like a perfect melody. Grieb’s art captivates readers’ and their young listeners. Her humor is infectious. Czajak and Grieb are the perfect collaborators for Monster & Me. I hope the pair continue telling Boy and Monster’s story. Is there another Monster political caper coming soon?
“And Monster’s roar in politics had only just begun.”
Monster Needs Your Vote meets Common Core and many state curriculum standards. Teachers, parents, and librarians can download a free Monster & Me Series Educator’s Guide and Event Kit. Monster Needs Your Vote is appropriately dedicated to “all the librarians in the world.”
REMEMBER: VOTE FOR MONSTER—IT’S YOUR KIDLIT DUTY!
MONSTER NEEDS YOUR VOTE (Monster & Me #5). Text copyright © 2015 by Paul Czajak. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Wendy Grieb. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Mighty Media Kids, Minneapolis, MN.
Learn more about Monster Needs Your Vote HERE.
Schedule a Skype in the Classroom Campaign Stop with Paul Czajak HERE.
Find Monster’s Campaign Kit HERE. ∗(contains
the reviewer’s apology, um, a glossary of election terms)
Download Coloring Pages HERE.
Check out what Monster dreams about HERE. (short animated story)
Read an interview with Boy and Monster HERE!
Visit Boy & Monster’s Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/MonsterandBoy
Meet the author, Paul Czajak, at his website: http://paulczajak.com/
Meet the illustrator, Wendy Grieb, at her twitter page: https://twitter.com/boodlewink
Find more Monster & Me books at the Mighty Media Kids website: http://blog.mightymediapress.com/
Mighty Media Kids is an imprint of Mighty Media Press.
Monster & Me series
#1: Monster Needs a Costume (review HERE)
#2: Monster Needs His Sleep (review HERE)
#3: Monster Needs a Christmas Tree (reviewed soon)
#4: Monster Needs a Party (Unfortunately, I missed this edition—”AW!”)
#5: Monster Needs Your Vote (Well, go to the top and read again!)
Also by Paul Czajak
Seaver the Weaver (illustrated by the Brothers Hilts)
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Monster Needs Your Vote (Monster & Me #5), by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb, and received from Mighty Media Kids, (an imprint of Mighty Media Press), is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”