If You’re a Monster and You Know It…read this book!

October 19, 2010 at 9:49 am Leave a comment

If You’re a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley; illustrated by Ed Emberley; music by Adrian Emberley; published by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc., New York; 2010.

In a rollicking riff on “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” the Emberley family has teamed up to present a multi-media monster mash.  The lyrics have changed but the participation remains the same in this follow-the-leader story.   Many librarians have changed the lyrics to this particular song for use at Halloween story times.  What makes the book unique are Emberley’s illustrations (created using Freehand) that are bright, bold and child-friendly, and grand-daughter Adrian’s companion song, which is available for download (free!) at www.scholastic.com/ifyoureamonsterandyouknowit.

The Halloween-orange end papers lead readers into the monster tale.  As the monsters develop a larger and larger repertoire of movement and sound, the number of monsters on the page grows, until at the very end, the page has to be folded out to reveal all of the monsters participating in the song and dance.  To transition between verses, the illustrations cleverly zoom in on the monster parts that are making the sound or motion then transition back to a full view of the monsters as they start the next verse.  The accompanying song mimics the illustrations by building from a single voice to multiple voices and instruments.  Adrian Emberley has further created a unique variation of the classic children’s song in its rhythm and melody.  Listen to Adrian Emberley sing the book. Combined, the words, images and song will enchant children and readers.

The style of illustrations make this book a perfect introduction to a craft of creating monsters using scraps of paper cut into a variety of geometric shapes.  You’ll want to use bright, vivid and fluorescent colors, of course.  The story and song make it a perfect read aloud for Halloween celebration at home, school or the library.


Entry filed under: Picture Book. Tags: , , , , , , .

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