The Real Monster at the End of This Book is Your Child

The Real Monster at the End of This Book is Your Child

Ever wonder if your child is too obedient? Does she always respect the limits you set for her? Is she sympathetic to other children and supportive when they express their fears?

Well worry no longer, because Little Golden Books and Sesame Street have the story for you! With The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover, your child is encouraged to break all the rules and forcibly expose others to their deepest, darkest terror.

Follow along with Grover’s ominous foreboding of the horrible finality that awaits us all on the other side. Taunt him as he pleads over and over again to refrain from exposing the beast that lies beyond the next page. Your child will shriek with laughter as she watches Grover quailing in fright while she leads him onward to his inexorable doom.

Grover helps your child develop her imagination. She will imagine that a terrible monster lies in wait for Grover. She will imagine that Grover is so scared that he must tie, board, and wall up pages of the book to prevent your child from causing him harm. See her eyes light up with glee as she tears down every barrier and turns every page, listening without pity or remorse to Grover’s endless cries for mercy.

Too late, your child will learn that the monster at the end was Grover all along, and she will be forgiven. But that look of disappointment on her face tells one more story. Remember that she had no way of knowing the secret ironies of the book. She believed she was letting loose a monster. She was wrong of course; YOU set the monster free, and that monster at the end of the book is not Grover, but your own sweet precious child.  

 

In short, this is a fantastically fun book that my son can’t get enough of! I also like the way it teaches a bit of logic by showing how the monster at the end of the book cannot be reached unless you keep turning pages. Therefore, do not turn the page.

I don’t know how much of this my one-and-a-half-year-old understands, but I bet the story appeals to kids and parents because of how delightfully transgressive it is. We’re taught to instinctively fear monsters and avoid them at all costs, but this fear can be crippling, especially when the monsters are of our own imagination. When we get to the end of the book, we learn that monsters are not categorically evil or scary, and they can even be ourselves. Is Grover not a monster for tyrannically enforcing his anxieties on the reader? He even tries to change history by claiming he told you there was nothing to be afraid of, and then on the last page he quietly admits his embarrassment. 

Beyond logic, imagination, and tolerance, the book encourages children to use their better judgement to discover truth for themselves. We all know that a book demands reading. A child figures out how to turn the pages long before he recognizes that the pictures and letters have meaning. So, why would a book exist if we are not meant to look at every page? It is obvious that the instruction not to turn pages is precisely an invitation to do so. Grover, the child must realize, is playing a game with him, and that the truth about so-called monsters can only be discovered by looking carefully at all the facts. An astute child realizes that the truth is far more complicated than the one Grover concocts based on his misreading of only the first page.

Yes, your child is the monster at the end of the book: a complex, curious, thinking, and feeling being. 



 

More Than "Close to the Edge" of Greatness: Prog Review #5

More Than "Close to the Edge" of Greatness: Prog Review #5

Bubbles

Bubbles