The MONSTER at the end of this book Analysis

I don’t really have any memories of picture books from when I was I child, but now I have become a fan. I have two nephews that love when I read them books, and to be honest, sometimes I think I enjoy some books even more than they do. The greatest example of these wonderful books for me is the one called “The MONSTER at the end of this book” written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Mike Smollin, a combination of creativity, humor, color and interaction. The story is about Sesame St’s Grover, who is afraid of a monster that is apparently at the end of the book and therefore doesn’t want the reader to turn the pages. Even though he tries to stop the reader from turning the pages in several ways, the reader gets to the end of the book, where Grover discovers that he is the monster himself, and therefore there was nothing to be afraid of, so embarrassing. The book’s images are drawn in perspective with fine lines, creating a detailed landscape and texture of the character but keeping the cartoon style. The pages have a small amount of whitespace overall and the usage of warm and highly saturated colors is common, giving energy and intensity to the story. For example, in the following image (page 1) we can see that some parts of the text are in intense colors and bigger sizes, to emphasize them, to give them a mood, of surprise, of astonishment. The word “monster” is in red through the whole text in order to highlight it, expressing the concern and fear the character has for it. Besides, fine repetitive lines surround Grover to show movement, and how he is shaking.

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Something that really called my attention from this book is the way it uses metanarrative, since Grover expresses that he knows he is inside of a book. Not only he talks about being in a book but we can actually see pages drawn in the illustration and we can see him interacting with them differently in every spread.

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In this picture, the different font sizes and styles establish a hierarchy, causing the reader to almost perceive the volume at which the monster is talking in each sentence.

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Visual objects are mostly vertical, making it more exciting and active, showing Gover’s adrenaline due to his desire to avoid the reader to turn the pages, and of course, causing the opposite. When Grover asks the reader to not turn the page he raises his curiosity, making him want to turn the page to finally see the scary monster and Grover’s reaction. Through his process of interaction with the pages the illustration starts to include cracks on the pages and broken pieces of materials Grover uses to impede the reader’s progress, as if the book was literally decayed in a three dimensional appearance.

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This is an entertaining book, for both adults and children, it’s colorful, funny and the best of it is that it really keeps you curiously reading until the end.

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5 Responses to The MONSTER at the end of this book Analysis

  1. Sean Joplin says:

    This book is almost perfect for children. It’s funny, exciting, and allows children to be defiant. It becomes funny because of Grover’s reactions as well as his constant attempts to stop the child. The book is exciting because of the change in font size and color which prompts an adult to change their voice to shout and mimic the feelings that grover is feeling. Children also love to be defiant which this book allows them to do. This book also has appeal to the second audience of children’s books, the parents. As parents read the book they will notice that Grover is breaking the fourth wall the entire book, something children would never pick up on and assume is natural. They also would enjoy how the pages are getting more and more torn up as it goes along. You mentioned how everything is vertical, and I personally never would have caught onto that, but children definitely wouldn’t catch onto that, they would just feel the excitement. Overall, excellent analysis of a mature children’s book.

  2. Andrew Morris says:

    I had not read this book until class this semester. I think that it does a good job engaging not just the kid but also the adult reading it to them. Every page is covered with colorful pictures and even the text is big and exciting. With every turn of the page, Grover gets more and more angry with the reader which makes it almost interactive for the kid reading and turning the page and kids love feeling rebellious. The different sizes of text in many different colors make the text look like it’s Grover yelling at you. Overall I really enjoyed this picture book because in each of the pictures Grover was building different ways of stopping the reader from turning the page. I found the scenes of him building entertaining because of how intricate they were as well as all of the vibrant colors.

  3. Nyambura Iruku says:

    I had never heard of this book until this semester, but it seems really entertaining and I feel like small children would find it really funny. Breaking the fourth wall is always intriguing and kids will most likely laugh at the idea of ‘bringing destruction’ or ‘striking fear’ to a character in a book. Besides the sense of control, the book also serves as a unique way to tell a story. I also really enjoyed your comment on the saturation of the colors. The deep, dark, and intense coloring really holds the child’s attention, but also gives it a different mood. Some children’s book’s intention is to relax a child before sleep with soft rhyming words and pastel colors. This book serves to do the opposite and invites an atmosphere of excitement and energy. This is don’t through the colors and large words to indicate yelling. This seems to be the type of book a parent might read during play time, but not necessarily before bed.

  4. Winston Berger says:

    The Monster at the End of this Book was one of my favorite books when I was a kid. I used to think it was hilarious. As a matter of fact, I still do. I just love how different this book is from many of its counterparts. As a child, I had many picture books, ranging from Dr. Seuss to Zathura to Walter the Farting Dog, but the Monster at the End of this Book has always stood out to me. I think part of why I loved it so much is because it kept daring me not to turn the page, and I felt rebellious every time I did it. Another reason this book is so great is that in the end Grover is the monster. It makes everything that has happened before that much more ridiculous and it adds up to a truly hilarious read. I totally agree with you when you say that Grover telling you not to turn the page makes you want to turn the page, because that is exactly what happened to me when I was a kid. You also talk about this book’s great use of meta-narrative. Its self-referential qualities make it very interactive. For example, I distinctly remember my Dad reading me this book and pretending to have a hard time opening the pages that Grover had built structures on. I’m glad that someone decided to do an analysis of The Monster at the End of this Book and I really hope that more kids discover it, as I think it is less well-known that it should be.

  5. Suehyun Jin says:

    Different from you, picture book was a part of the daily life. Reading a book before I went to bed was one of the most exciting things to do, and I am glad that you are loving it, as well. I think this book has a unique format and story because the character does not want the reader to turn the page. However, it makes young readers turn the pages like children do something their parents tell them not to. Author targeted that character of young children and led the story. Filling the page with bright colors and pictures with simple lines definitely grabs reader’s attention and makes the story energetic. Also, as I see these pages, Grover, the main character, scolds the reader for turning the page and acts like he cannot stand them. I found it funny how he desperately stops reader going to the next page. I think this can make readers laugh and to come back to this book.

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