The Monster at the End of this Book was the first book I read by myself growing up, and it’s probably the book I credit most in turning me into such a reader. I had the book memorized pretty early on, and used to tell the story along with my parents, word for word as we turned the pages together. To that end, I’ve been reading The Monster at the End of this Book to Hila, despite the fact that she just turned 3 months old (today!) and has absolutely no clue what’s flying. In fact, I don’t allow Sarah to read this one – it’s my book, and I always want it to be associated with me (wow, I sound pretty selfish. But Sarah gets to do pretty much everything else with Hila while I’m at work).
The plot of the story, for those of us who haven’t read it, is Grover begging and pleading with the reader (ideally, a small child. But the book is also enjoyable if read by an adult, with maybe a nice glass of wine) not to turn any more pages, because with each page he turns, he brings us, and Grover, closer and closer to the end of the book. And we all know there’s a monster at the end of the book. Of course, the monster is (Spoiler Alert!) furry lovable ol’ Grover.
The great thing about this book is that it really draws the child in, which is part of what makes it so much fun! Instead of just telling a story, you’re actively involving your child in the book. By turning the pages, he or she is the very protagonist! It’s kind of like the Neverending Story, only less weird, and without the giant flying dog.
The Monster at the End of this Book is also available as a board book (which is what we have), and was also recently reissued as a pop up book, re-titled for some reason as Please do not Open this Book. I haven’t actually seen the pop up book yet, has anybody else?