Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Review - Quit Calling Me a Monster!

Quit Calling Me a Monster!
by Jory John
illustrated by Bob Shea
Date: 2016
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: library

The talented creators of I Will Chomp You! brilliantly frame the struggle to buck stereotypes and learn empathy in this monster’s hilarious lament.

Floyd Patterson is so much more than shaggy purple fur and pointy monster teeth— why can’t people just see him for him? Jory John and Bob Shea have struck gold in creating a knee-slapping, read-it-again story that will start a valuable discussion about how we treat others and how it feels to be seen as “different.”

(synopsis from Goodreads)

The synopsis makes this book sound deeper than it really is. It's basically just the whiny lament of Floyd Peterson, a monster who doesn't want to be called a monster... even though he is. I'm not quite sure what the point is supposed to be. It's like denying who you are because other people misunderstand what that is. That's not your problem... it's theirs.

This book reminded me of another of Jory John's picture books, The Bad Seed. But that one was a lot more amusing, and the play on words worked in the premise's favour. The seed really was "bad", and there was a whole story about how he got that way. In this book, Floyd is just a monster who seems to be in denial about his identity. It confused me as an adult... so I'm not sure how this would play with kids.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 2/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.5 out of 5

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