Marilyn's monster

Michelle Knudsen

Book - 2015

Trying to be patient as one of the only kids in her class who has not been chosen by a pet monster, little Marilyn decides to search for her monster even though she is supposed to wait to let a monster choose her.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Knudsen Due Jun 4, 2024
Picture books
Somerville, Massachusetts : Candlewick Press 2015.
Main Author
Michelle Knudsen (author)
Other Authors
Matt Phelan (illustrator)
First edition
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 25 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Marilyn's friends are all lucky. They waited for their monsters to find them during class; on the way home; once, fortuitously, while escaping bullies just like they're supposed to. But Marilyn remains monsterless. For a while, she was content to wait patiently for her monster and make sure she looked very friendly and interesting and smart and fun to be around. Soon, however, she gets fed up with waiting, so she heads out to find her monster on her own. At first, she still can't find him, but finally her monster appears: he's stuck in a tree branch and needs her help. Knudsen's charming story is a great fit for Phelan's gentle watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. With just a few lines and brushstrokes, he depicts the wide range of Marilyn's emotions, from wary hopefulness to sullen grumpiness to, finally, utter joy. The whimsical, friendly monsters are equally expressive, and their supernatural antics in the background will tickle funny bones. Little ones feeling lonely or worried about making friends will be empowered by Marilyn's determined, take-charge attitude.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

A girl named Marilyn watches with increasing frustration as monsters of every shape, size, and cryptozoological origin pair up with her peers to serve as playmates, companions, and protectors. Her snarky older brother has a pink-and-green blob that he wears on his head, and "Timmy's monster chose him right in the middle of a history test" (Phelan shows an enormous furry hand thrusting into her classroom through a window, pointing at the boy next to her). In Marilyn, Knudsen (Big Mean Mike) creates a highly sympathetic everychild experiencing a full spectrum of emotions: doubt, uncertainty, anger, confidence, and boldness. Meanwhile, Phelan (Druthers), working in watercolor and pencil, creates a wild cast of monsters, from pond-dwelling tentacles to cat-stegosaur hybrids and the fuzzy winged creature Marilyn eventually finds trapped up in a tree ("I got lost," it explains. "And then I got scared. And then I got stuck"). Rich with feeling, it's a warm, gently funny reminder to chase down one's dreams, rather than waiting for them to appear on the doorstep. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-One of the poignancies of childhood is the waiting-for a loose tooth, to ride a bike, to learn to read. Knudsen's brilliantly simple narrative and Phelan's whimsical pencil and watercolor drawings speak to the universal need for belonging and the anxiety born of impatience. The story's opening sentence sets up the plot: "Some of the kids in Marilyn's class had monsters. It was the latest thing." These pet monsters each seek out just the right child, and that takes time, so at first Marilyn isn't worried about not having one of her own. But the longer she waits the less patient she is; she adjusts her appearance and behavior hoping to attract it and then tries to convince herself that having one doesn't matter anyway. "But they were pretty great. She could see that they were...." So finally, against the advice of her know-it-all older brother (his monster sits on his head like a squishy baseball hat), Marilyn takes matters in her own hands. She packs a lunch and sets out to find her monster-which happens to have gotten stuck in a tree while trying to find her. Every one of Phelan's monsters is wonderfully weird, and readers will have fun noting similarities between them and their human friends. VERDICT Pair this story with Mo Willems's Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005) and Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Weirdos (Little, Brown, 2002) for a ready-made guidance lesson or a fun storytime with built-in text-to-self connections.-Lisa Lehmuller, East Providence School District, RI (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Marilyn waits for her monster to find her, but the two discover each other when Marilyn rescues the flying creature by untangling its wings from tree branches. Softly rendered watercolor and pencil illustrations convey Marilyn's spirited, resourceful character while adding just the right touch of drama and energy to the story. Pair with Santat's The Adventures of Beekle at storytime. (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Marilyn waits and waits for her monster to find her, the way all her friends' monster companions found them, until she finally gives up and goes looking for him. Say goodbye to scary monsters. Here lurk monster buddies (anatomical amalgams with horns, fangs, fuzz, fur and sometimes antennae) who arrive unannounced to serve as superspecial sidekicks to every child. Much fun comes from seeing a multitude of monsters in everyday settings, like school and the park, and from marveling at their confounding shapes and sizes. Mellow pencil-and-watercolor illustrations soften their freakishness, convincing even the most jittery nighttime readers that they too might pine for a monster pal just as Marilyn does. Wonderfully telling, finely wrought facial expressions communicate Marilyn's feelings as her days without a monster wear on; she's hopeful, wistful, wary, dismissive, angry and finally determined. "That's it," Marilyn declares one day. "I'm going to find my monster." Grit, persistence, and a good, loud shout bring the two together, and as Marilyn untangles his wing from a high limb, children might ruminate on some larger lessons that hover around what initially seems a sweetly silly monster story. A surprising spin on monsters with nicely effective artworkand heart. (Picture book. 2-6) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.