In this beloved best-seller by Sesame Street series writer Jon Stone, Grover’s fears the monster at the end of the book, so he does everything he can to keep the reader from reaching the end. Grover's fear turns to sheepish surprise when it turns out that the “monster” is actually someone lovable, furry, and completely harmless.
Before, During and After Reading
Introduce the book. Read the title of the book aloud. Sweep your finger under the words as you read the title, the author, and the illustrator. Talk about the jobs of the author and the illustrator. Point out the name of the sign: Sesame Street, and Grover’s friendly greeting: “Hello, everybodeee!” Talk about the illustrations on the cover and ask your child what she sees.
Discuss what you read and see. As you read, change the way you say the words in volume and/or tone, to match the drama of Grover’s words and expressions. The word "monster" is emphasized throughout the book – ask your child what she thinks the monster may be and what the monster might look and act like. Talk about Grover’s attempts to keep you from turning the page; point out the things he uses, like the hammer and saw, and explain what they do.
As you read, point out the variety of letters that are sometimes larger than the rest and in different colors. For example, on the page with the big SHHHH, ask your child if she knows the names of those 2 letters. If she doesn’t, tell her that they are S and H; also tell her the sounds each letter makes. When combined, S & H, make the SHHHH sound that Grover makes as he tries to get the reader to quiet down and listen to him. Point out the gesture that he makes to communicate the same SHHHH message.
Discuss the story and what makes it funny. The story’s humor comes from Grover’s attempts to prevent the monster from appearing and his misunderstanding about the nature of the monster. Ask whether or not Grover could’ve ever prevented the reader from turning the pages; encourage your child to explain why or why not. Grover also doesn’t realize that he is the monster – why could that be? Discuss what monsters are normally like in stories. Should Grover really be called a monster?
If the story had ended differently and a true monster had appeared at the end of the story, what would that monster look and act like? Give some paper and crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers to your child. Encourage her to draw what she thought might have been at the end of the book, or what type of monster Grover might have imagined. Once she’s finished, have her tell you about her monster, including the monster’s name, and what makes her creation so monstrous. Help your child write the monster’s name and her own name on the paper, as well as any other words she may want to add.
Explore other recommended children's books and reading activities for five-year-olds, or take the Reading BrightStart! Preschool Reading Screener. The screener can help you determine if your child is on the path to reading readiness, and provides a free plan for moving forward.