When my oldest grandson, Bubby, first stayed the night at Gramma's house without Mom and Dad, he was just two years old. And it was a dark and stormy night. Soon after putting him to bed in a room of his own, I heard a small, quivering voice on the monitor. "I'm...scared...I'm scared...," Bubby said quietly again and again. I, of course, quickly went to his room to comfort him and rock him to sleep.
Bubby was afraid of the thunder that night, but many other nights—and for many other kids—the fear is the monster in the room. Well, the imagined monster in the room. Under the bed. In the closet.
Author and illustrator Sharon Cramer has created a book just for such times. A monster-banishing manual to keep by a child's bedside for reading when worries about the critter in the closet and elsewhere keeps a kiddo from falling asleep.
Marlow and the Monster tells the tale of Marlow and the wacky monster that won't leave him alone. The wacky monster that Mom and Dad try to convince him isn't real. Marlow eventually resorts to relocating the monster to his sister Sarah's room—but then gets in trouble for scaring Sarah, when it really was that pesky monster who did the scaring.
Together, Marlow and Sarah come up with a solution for the monster. And let's just say it involves French fries.
Marlow and the Monster is delightfully illustrated in black and white, quill and pen ink drawings. The monster, though, the highlight of the book, is in full color. Cramer says the reason for that is that, "Only children can see him."
What I loved about the book: The text is cute, but I must say the illustrations are the best part of Marlow and the Monster. But isn't that what picture books are all about?
Marlow and the Monster by Sharon Cramer retails for $14.95 hardcover and is available at Talking Bird Books and Amazon.com.
Like I said, though, it's free only through August 18, so head over there now.
For more help on ridding a little one's room (and imagination) of monsters and other scary things, check out Sharon Cramer's tipsheet on How to Deal with Monsters, Bad Dreams, and other Scary and Frightening Things That go Bump in the Night.
I received a free copy of this book for review. Opinions are my own. There are no affiliate links in this post. No real monsters, either.