Marilyn’s Monster (postscript to ‘Picture book creators’)

Marilyn's Monster_Cover

Marilyn desperately wants a monster just like all her classmates have, but she can’t go out and get one, her monster has to find her – that’s just the way it works. Marilyn tries to be patient; she tries “to be the kind of girl no monster could resist”, but she grows mad, and then she decides to find her monster herself – even if that isn’t the way things are supposed to work. In the middle of a field, Marilyn screams, “WHERE ARE YOU???” and a soft voice answers, “Here.” High up in a tree, her monster’s wings are tangled in the branches. Marilyn frees him and together they fly home.

Marilyn’s Monster is grounded in the realistic world of a child; one comprised of school, friends and family; of a desire to have what her peers have and resulting impatience and anger; and of an independent seeking out of her desire. And yet, what everyone around Marilyn has and what she desires so fervently is a monster. This is one of the beautiful things about children’s books: they illuminate life using monsters.  

Marilyn's Monster_Interior

Marilyn’s Monster by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Matt Phelan. Published by Candlewick Press in 2015.

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