Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Mikey and the Swamp Monster

Moran, J., and Rausch, M. (2016). Mikey and the Swamp Monster. 

Children's Book / Imagination


ABOUT THE BOOK: When the stinky Swamp Monster returns, an imaginative boy uses his monster-stopper kit to protect his home and family. A humorous picture book which celebrates the blurry lines between inventiveness and reality. This read-it-again favorite is the recipient of the 2016 New Apple Book Award for Children's Humor, and is a Finalist in the 2016 Wishing Shelf Awards.


HALL WAYS REVIEW: This is such a bright, fun, and funny story for children to enjoy. Mikey and the Swamp Monster has all the elements to keep the youngest readers engaged in the story: colorful, full page illustrations, minimal text, figurative language, and even suspense as they wait for the big Swamp Monster reveal!

The team of author Jeanne Moran and illustrator Michael Rausch have constructed a book that not only has a great little story about the wild imagination of young Mikey, but which also has practical applications – for example, use it as a read-aloud for potty-training toddlers; use it in the library as a springboard for a “make your own monster-stopper kit” maker-space activity; or use it for older kids to identify figurative language like hyperbole, irony, and alliteration.

Kids will really enjoy the lay-out and format of the book, which uses a variety of fonts and styles to splash the words across the pages. Every page is worthy of closer examination, and my guess is that young children will read this (or request it be read) again and again.

The text flows smoothly and is cleanly edited (though there was one comma error), so I give it my Grammar Policewoman seal of approval as being a good model for young readers and writers-in-training. The momma in me cringed just a little at seeing a fan on a floor by a baby, but hopefully no kids will decide to replicate that part of the story.

Thank you to the author for her infinite patience in waiting for my review and for providing a print copy to me in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Challenge and change energize me.

In my career as a pediatric physical therapist, I helped hundreds of children gain strength and motor skills. That left me time (ha!) to teach Sunday School, direct an after-school program, organize an international student-athlete exchange, and help plan and implement construction of a new community playground. Along the way, I learned a bit about tang soo do and sudoku, tap dancing and German, whole foods cooking, and the joy of selling on ebay. Anything to avoid cleaning! 

I write fiction and non-fiction for young and young-minded readers surrounded by inspirational quotes, vinyl records, countless books, and innumerable dust bunnies.  

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