After wreaking havoc on the planets of its own galaxy, a hungry monster sets off in its spaceship for a pretty blue planet called earth. A little boy called Tommy brown, who is particularly scared of monsters, is singled out for a visit………
This picture book first published in 1984 feels strangely relevant today as some of our current world leaders appear to have adopted the name calling rhetoric of the loathsome monster in the story. This monster spends his time hurtling towards tiny peaceful planets, calling out, “I’m coming to get you!” before gobbling up everything in its path and leaving planets looking like chewed up apple cores.
Tony Ross wrote the story and illustrated the text with large ink and watercolour drawings of the monster who looms large and fills every page. The accompanying text is sparse with no more than two sentences on each page but the language is rich and resonant with touches of humour, ‘It chewed up the mountains, and drank the oceans. It had jellyfish for afters.’
The monster, who is never satisfied, sets out for a planet called Earth. The monster finds little Tommy Brown on its radar and sets out to ‘get’ him. Tommy and his ever present (and expressive) teddy bear check the house and listen out for any unusual noises whilst the monster hides behind a rock and waits for the dawn. The tension builds
As morning comes and Tommy sets out happily for school the monster pounces with a large wooden stick in hand. There are no words on the final double spread for the picture tells the whole story. The monster is miniscule and the stick a mere spent matchstick!
This is a wonderful story to read aloud. Children love to feel the tension of the monster coming and then laugh at the final image. It can be used in the classroom to cover themes about space, fears and monsters. It can just be read for fun!
Published by Anderson Press www.andersonpress.co.uk
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