Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Michelle Knudsen
Illustrator: Matt Phelan
Publisher: Candlewick Press
All the kids in Marilyn's class are getting monsters. She wants one too, but your monster has to find you. That's just the way it works. Marilyn tries everything to get her monster. She pretends not to look for her monster at the playground. She loiters around the library. She tries to seem pretty and friendly and nice and fun so that her monster will want to be around her. But her monster doesn't come. As time passes and everyone else gets their monsters, Marilyn starts to lose hope. Maybe she just needs to go and find her monster herself, even if that’s not the way it works. So she puts on her good walking shoes, packs a lunch, and sets off, only to discover that her monster has been stuck in a tree this whole time, hoping that she would come find him.
The interesting premise and fun sequences make Marilyn’s Monster a highly enjoyable read. Although intended for children, Marilyn’s struggle to find her monster is familiar to anyone who has ever been lonely, and her character is easy to identify with; whether the reader is an elementary school student trying to find a friend or a young adult struggling with dating. The uplifting story and fun traditional illustrations of the children and their monsters will appeal to any age group.