Marilyn's Monster by Michelle Knudsen is a superb story perfectly illustrated by Matt Phelan. Phelan's soft watercolor and pencil illustrations tame the monsters that might have been frightening in this story about patience and perseverance.
Marilyn's Monster begins, "Some of the kids in Marilyn's class had mosnters. It was the latest thing. Marilyn didn't have a mosnter. Not yet. You couldn't just go out and get one. Your monster had to find you. That's just how it worked." Marilyn watches, with growing concern, as all her classmates and friends are found by their monsters. Phelan's illustrations of this happening are gernously spread out over several pages and completely entertaining and charming. My favorite monster pairing comes when Franklin gets his in the library.
Marilyn does her best to make herself monster-ready and monster-worthy. She checks to see if her monster might be invisible. She gives up. Then she decides to take her fate into her own hands. Knudsen wraps up Marilyn's Monster in a very satisfying way and Phelan creates the quintessential monster for Marilyn. Knudsen's story works on so many levels and there is so much that can be appreciated. Best of all, Marilyn's Monster is just a great story.
More books by Michelle Knudsen:
The Library Lion illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Source: Review Copy