Today I am honored to have two wonderful guests from the Monster & Me series, including the recently released Monster Needs Your Vote (reviewed here). You might remember them from another interview (read it here). There is no better way to get at the story than from the view point of the characters.
Monster and Boy cut to the chase as they answer a few of my hard-hitting questions. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from an interview with a political candidate. Monster is vying for President! Yep, he doesn’t play around folks (well, not much), and aims for the top! Monster’s long-time friend goes along on the campaign trail, giving guidance and help as only Boy can. (NOTE: Kids, any Boy—or Girl—and any Monster can aspire to this relationship, as enviable as it is.)
HOLD ON, HERE WE GO!
Welcome Monster and Boy. Your new book Monster Needs Your Vote is in bookstores now. The author, Paul Czajak, chose an interesting topic for your 5th book: politics. What did you think, Monster, when you found out you would be running for president?
“First off thanks for having me, any opportunity to get the message out I am up for!”
“MONSTER 2016!! Turn your voice into a roar!”
“Oh yeah, I forgot. Sometimes I forget stuff. Anyway I want to point out when I was running I was my OWN Monster and not an imaginary Monster created by Mr. Paul Czajak. I decided to run for President when I found out I wasn’t old enough to vote. Which is not fair!”
True, at first, you simply wanted to vote. Have you ever voted before that day? I know I’m not supposed to ask, but my curiosity is overpowering my good sense. Which candidate did you vote for?
“I never voted before. In fact I didn’t even know what it was until that day. Once I heard about it I thought, “How cool is that?! Being able to voice your opinion on how decisions are made! What an awesome responsibility!” Then Boy told me I wasn’t old enough to vote yet, UNFAIR! So I figured I would run for President and help change that rule.”
Boy has always helped you, like when he helped you choose a Halloween costume, find a Christmas tree, and when he helped you go to sleep. How did Boy help you on the campaign trail?
“Even though I really liked that slogan, Dessert For Dinner was probably not the best platform, or issue, to run on. Boy helped me figure out that I should stand behind something that isn’t about what I need but what everybody needs, like a library staying open. But honestly who wouldn’t want chocolate cake for dinner?”
“I like vanilla.”
“You’re so difficult.”
Boy, I’m curious again. You have a giant amount of confidence when guiding Monster, but he is, like, 100 times bigger than you. Aren’t you afraid Monster might, well, become a monster?
“I don’t get it? Monster is a monster, that’s why his name is Monster. He can’t become a monster since he’s already a monster. Any idea what she’s talking about?”
In Monster Needs Your Vote, both of you use some odd words and combinations of words, like soapbox (a box of soap?), oratory, platform, grassroots movement (moving grassroots?), “give a voice” (you can do that?) and “all for naught” (who is naught?). What do these words mean and why are these important when running for president?
“This sounds an awful lot like a “gotcha question.” Where’s my agent?”
“Monster, you don’t have an agent. Plus, I think she just wants to know how you got such a big vocabulary.”
“Oh! Mr. Czajak teaches me lots of big words. No reason not to use them when the opportunity presents itself,
“New Hampshire, then to Iowa he caused a rousing raucous,
“Speaking to the voters at the primary and caucus.”
“Monster, no one likes a show off.”
“Tell that to Trump.”
People running for president usually have a running mate, why isn’t Boy your running mate instead of your campaign manager? (Did the author veto that idea?)
“He was going to be my running mate!”
“Monster needs a running mate, “So who’s it going to be?”
“Monster said, “My only choice is you for my V.P.”
“But I never got to that point since it turns out you have to be 35 to run for President. Which, again, is unfair! I know, I’ll run for President and change that rule too!”
I don’t recall from your first adventure, Monster Needs a Costume, if we found out where you came from. President Obama had to show his birth certificate to prove he was born in the U.S. Running for President is tough to do. Did anyone ask to see your birth certificate?
“A Monster can’t be President, he has no expertise!
“Who is Monster? Where’s he from? I think he may have fleas.”
“Fleas are not the issue, this is just something that misleads
“This country needs a Leader that will focus on the needs.”
“After the debate the officials asked for my birth certificate which showed I wasn’t 35, dumb rule.”
What I really like about Monster Needs Your Vote is all the other monsters Wendy Grieb brought out. There are some interesting-looking monsters. Monster, there is one that sure looks like he/she could be a relative. Do you know any of these monsters?
“A lot of them came to my Birthday Party this past April! It was such a surprise when I came home from Pirate Land and found all my friends in the house.”
I’m so sorry. I missed your birthday party. I bet it was a frightful affair! Anyway, I think Monster would be absolutely terrific at any sport or getting fit (kids need that—adults, too). Boy, what is next for Monster?
“We will focus on Monsters message of “Reading Turns Your Voice into a Roar!” for the rest of the election. Then I think Monster might go to school next fall… His sports career will have to wait a bit. Though he will definitely get involved in something.”
Ah, Monster, you are such a dreamer . . . I mean you have great dreams . . . um, what I really mean to say is, “Yes! You go Monster!” So, is there anything either of you would like to say directly to the readers?
“Read! Read! Read! And support your local library!”
“What he said, it’s why he’s the best candidate.”
That is a fantastic message! Monster and Boy, thank you for stopping by . . . Oh, wait! I forgot to ask one BIG QUESTION. In Monster Needs Your Vote (you have my vote)—DID YOU WIN?
“Well I guess someone didn’t read the book. It’s only 350 words, it’s not like it would take that much time.”
“Monster, I think she’s just pretending to have not read the book to build up suspense. You know, a bit of suspended disbelief on the part of the interviewer.”
“Suspended Disbelief, when something doesn’t make sense, but you let it go for the sake of the story. You know, kind of like if someone wrote a story about a monster who’s too young to vote but then decides to run for President.”
“You lost me.”
Monster and Boy, thank you for stopping by Kid Lit Reviews once more. It is always a delight and a surprise!
Boy and Monster, what a pair. You got to love them and I believe you will while reading the Monster & Me series. This is one series that has never disappointed me. The stories and illustrations are full of humor, bold images, and a gentle message no one, not even a Monster, tries to blast at you.
You can start the Monster & Me series with their the latest, Monster Needs Your Vote (reviewed here), as each book can stand on its own (and no, Monster, I do not mean that they actually stand on their own, but that you can read any story without having to read the story before it).
Soon it will be Halloween, a good time to read Monster Needs a Costume (reviewed here). And then Christmas will be upon us and Monster Needs a Christmas Tree (reviewed soon) is the perfect holiday story.
If holidays are not your thing (really, could that be true of anyone?) how about a birthday party story with Monster Needs a Party (reviewed soon), or a story to help you nod off with Monster in Monster Needs His Sleep (reviewed here)?
It sounds like Monster will be heading off to school—for the first time—next Fall and maybe joining a sports team—or the cheerleaders. I cannot wait for those stories. Until then, I hope you have enjoyed this latest interview with Monster and Boy.
And don’t forget to “Read! Read! Read!” Support your public library, and VOTE FOR MONSTER!
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved
Full Disclosure: Monster & Me by Paul Czajak & Wendy Grieb, and published by Mighty Media Kids. Monster and Boy’s interview answers by Paul Czajak. Images copyright © by Wendy Grieb. 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.”
Monster & Me Series
A HUGE THANKS to Paul Czajak!