Thursday, October 13, 2016

Learning from Picture Books – QUIT CALLING ME A MONSTER!

Since Hallowe'en is approaching, I thought this was a fun choice for a "monster" book that isn't too scary. This will make kids laugh.

Summary from the Publisher:

Floyd Patterson is so much more than shaggy purple fur and pointy monster teeth—
why can’t people just see him for him? Jory John and Bob Shea have struck gold in creating a knee-slapping, read-it-again story that will start a valuable discussion about how we treat others and how it feels to be seen as “different.”

Quit Calling Me a Monster was written by Jory John and illustrated by Bob Shea. It was published in 2016 by Random House Children’s Books.


“Quit calling me a monster! Just…stop it, right this minute!”

My Thoughts as a Writer:

I loved the voice in this story because it really allows the monster’s personality to shine through. It’s a great example of a story written in dialogue—or a monologue, really, up until the end.  There’s lots of repetition in the structure of this story (a whole section where sentences start with  “and”).

Bob Shea’s colourful illustrations keep the monster from being too scary. The “glow in the dark” monster smile allows us to know where the monster is even when it’s in the dark under the bed – a nice design. Love the expressions on the monster's face!

My Thoughts as a Teacher:

The monster tries really hard to convince the reader that he’s not a monster…until it becomes really obvious that he is. It’s a good book for starting a discussion about how someone feels about what they are called.

This would also be a fun book to use as a model for writing with older kids. I'd use it to talk about taking another perspective, and maybe brainstorm ideas about the different perspectives of the child, monster and parent.

Ages: 3 – 7

Grades: preK - 2

Themes: fears, monsters, point of view, name-calling


Talk about different words to describe the way the child, parent and monster feel about the monster.

Draw a picture of an imaginary monster in any place you can think of (e.g., the grocery story, the swimming pool, the library). Write a speech bubble to show what your monster is really thinking. And don't forget to name for your monster!


  1. Love the not-too-scary Halloween stories! Floyd is a cutie.

  2. I'll have to check this out. I was just reading about techniques for writing in dialogue and realized I didn't know many books like that. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Thanks for including the book trailer! This book looks highly entertaining, fun, and funny. Children are often name calling without realizing how much they are hurting someone. I think this book will open some great conversations in the classroom and home.

  4. I LOVE this! I teach high school English, but I am strong advocate of using pictures books for all subjects and at all grade levels. I could see myself using this one when I tackle character education.

  5. Wow! I really like this book. Monster feels different as do many kids who wear glasses, hearing aids or have special needs. Would be helpful to talk about how we label a person, how we react to what we don't know and so on. Love your activity suggestions. Such a cute video!

  6. Sounds adorable! And a great lesson on labels.

  7. I love that this book uses humor and a super cute monster to tackle how the labels/names we apply can hurt. I will definitely check this one out!

  8. I agree with Gabi - and this book looks perfect for helping kids see how labeling others hurts everyone.
    Thanks for sharing. Need to read this.


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