I Need My Monster
Publication Date: April 2009
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Scholastic Book Club Selection
Alabama Camellia Award list, 2010-11, K-1 category
A unique monster-under-the-bed story with the perfect balance of giggles and shivers, this picture book relies on the power of humor over fear, appeals to a child’s love for creatures both alarming and absurd, and glorifies the scope of a child’s imagination. One night, when Ethan checks under his bed for his monster, Gabe, he finds a note from him instead: "Gone fishing. Back in a week." Ethan knows that without Gabe’s familiar nightly scares he doesn't stand a chance of getting to sleep, so Ethan interviews potential substitutes to see if they've got the right equipment for the job—pointy teeth, sharp claws, and a long tail—but none of them proves scary enough for Ethan. When Gabe returns sooner than expected from his fishing trip, Ethan is thrilled. It turns out that Gabe didn't enjoy fishing because the fish scared too easily.
Amanda Noll is a writer. She lives in Spanaway, Washington. Howard McWilliam has won awards for his artwork, including National Young Cartoonist of the Year (UK), and has contributed art to a wide range of magazines and newspapers including, Child Education, The Daily Telegraph, Nursery Education, and The Week.
"Dramatic in perspective, McWilliam's exaggerated, digitally colored art renders the monsters in a spectrum of neon hues and outlandish shapes. The collaborators ably balance some bedtime chills with humor, and Ethan's enthusiasm for his monster should prove infectious." Publishers Weekly
"A fun nighttime read for those who enjoy a bit of shiver as they are tucked in to bed . . . a great read-aloud for a slightly older audience at a night-themed story hour." School Library Journal
"Noll turns the tables on monster fears by introducing readers to Ethan, a little boy who can’t fall asleep without the ragged breathing and claw-scratching of his favorite monster, Gabe." Booklist
"A clever anxiety-defuser and an unusually well done double-debut." Kirkus Reviews
"A perfect read-aloud for squirmy youngsters, especially boys . . . exquisitely creepy, perfect for. . . all monster-lovers." The Sacramento Bee
"Between the simple hilarity of the story itself and the amazing, gorgeous illustrations, I Need My Monster is a brilliant piece of picture book work." A Patchwork of Books
"A must read for any discerning monster lover. A perfect bedtime companion. I'm keeping one copy on the nightstand, and one under the bed!" Edward Hemingway, author, Bump in the Night
"The same kids who loved Neil Gaiman's The Wolves in the Walls are sure to appreciate I Need My Monster too. Highly recommended." Monster Librarian.com