The Boogie Man – that’s who lived in my closet when I was a kid. He was mean, fierce, and had the potential to jump out and attack at any moment. I spent many nights thinking about what he looked like – long fangs, green warts… ya know, all the typical monster features. I also had things living under and beside my bed, including long and vicious Boa Constrictors and gnarling wild canines. You could say I had a violent childhood (after all, I did have 2 older brothers who habituated these fears by hiding under my bed and jumping out at just the right moments). But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that having night creatures living in your room is….well, normal. It’s a typical part of what most folks would constitute as “being a kid.”
But here’s the problem: as said kid is trying to sleep in the midst of all these sharp fangs and gnarling teeth, it can be a truly terrifying experience. This is where awesome children’s authors like Amanda Noll come in. Her book entitled I Need My Monster is a lighter take on those under-the-bed dwelling creatures. The story opens with a little boy who is good friends with his monster – in fact, his creature even has a name: Gabe. When Gabe decides to take the week off from his monstrous duties, the boy is very upset and wonders how he will sleep without Gabe’s spooky green ooze and jagged-edge claws. The story progresses as temporary replacement monsters appear, but none of them are quite right. One didn’t pant right, another didn’t have the right claws, still another had an unacceptably long tongue, and there was another who was –wait for it – a girl monster (a.k.a completely unacceptable)! In the end, Gabe returns in all his monstrous glory and the boy is satisfied once again.
In the spirit of Halloween, we at the Nola Brantley Memorial Library really enjoy this book and plan to read it for upcoming story times. Other exciting children’s books that we favor this time of year are The Book that Eats People, Aaaarrgghh! Spider!, The Ghost of Sifty Sifty Sam, and my personal favorite Even Monsters Need Haircuts. We LOVE these books because they bring to light many childhood fears and turn them into something fun, light-hearted, and imaginative!
If you’d like to check out a copy of any of these books for Halloween, act now! Make sure you contact your local library branch or go online to reserve your copy today.
So, what about you – what was your most memorable childhood night creature?