reviews and stories about parenting with picture books

The (Breakfast) Table is Turned in Monster, Be Good! Monsters, Part II


Speaking of monsters…

We’ve invited them to breakfast!

Monster, Be Good!, by Natalie Marshall (Blue Apple Books, 2013) is short, interactive, and fun; the perfect addition to our morning reading list.

(You can read more about our books for breakfast ritual here: LINK).

On the first page of Monster, Be Good is the “S” word again (see Monsters Part I). It reads, “DON’T BE SCARED! You are in charge of the monsters. If you tell them how to behave, they will listen.”

But it is hard to be scared of Marshall’s monsters. They are colorful, quirky and even, well, cute.

The rest of the book is incredibly effective call and response.

I call out the first line of the page: “If a monster is noisy (the monster on this page is blowing a horn), whisper in its ear…”

“‘BE QUIET!’” my kids respond in loud whispers.

And so on… “If a monster is hungry (this monster is gobbling up a messy bowl of spaghetti and meatballs), give it a fork and a spoon and say, ‘CHEW YOUR FOOD!’” My son especially loves this one, and gives a vigorous head nod to emphasize the importance of each word. CHEW (nod) YOUR (nod) FOOOOOD! (Nod! Nod! Smirk.)

Never mind that now there are drips of yogurt and bites of omelet dribbling out out of my kids mouth as they yell: “‘TAKE TURNS!’” on the next page, after I read, “If a monster is selfish, say…”

Yes, this book is reminding young ones how to behave, and even what to do when somebody else, doesn’t: “If a monster is mean, walk away and say, ‘GOOD-BYE,’” but what I think my kids love most about this book is that while we are reading it, they get to say to me what I am always saying to them (nicely, of course!)

Be quiet.

Chew your food.

Take turns.

Clean Up.

Sit still.

Go to sleep.

Ah! The breakfast table is turned! And they are eating this up.

And finally, in what appears to be becoming another requirement for our breakfast books, there is an opportunity to give kisses in Monster, Be Good, too. “And if the monster asks nicely, kiss it and say… ‘“GOOD NIGHT.’”

I pass the book around the table.

I’m looking at the last page now…what did I serve this morning that was greasy…and green?

Picture Book House Rating: Read it Again at Breakfast, Mommy! (And I hope you will, too!)

You can check out more about the illustrator, Natalie Marshall here:

2 Responses to “The (Breakfast) Table is Turned in Monster, Be Good! Monsters, Part II”

  1. Natalie Marshall

    What a lovely review…so great to hear your kids enjoyed my book! Cheers, Natalie Marshall

    • abbynies

      My kids LOVE your book, and so does my niece. Whenever she comes over to play the first thing she wants to do is read it. She was here yesterday and she and my son spent a long time reading it to each other inside a blanket fort. I’ll be giving away several copies for Christmas. It’s so much fun–thank you!


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