He's Been a Monster All Day
by Denise Brennan-Nelson
After an especially "busy" day, a preschool-age boy overhears his mother say, "He's been a monster all day." So the little boy starts to fantasize about what life as a monster would be like. "I wonder why Mommy thinks that of me? / I guess if she does then a monster I'll be! / I'm big and strong! / I grumble and growl / and scare people off / with a sneer and a scowl. / Being a monster is fun!" There are no rules to remember or manners to follow. And monsters can stay out as late as they please, scaring everyone away. As it turns out, being a monster isn't all it's cracked up to be. No one wants to be friends with a monster. And who will read a story and tuck a monster into bed? Maybe being a little boy isn't such a bad thing after all.
- Dewey: E
- Graphics: Full-color illustrations
- Hardcover (9781585368273): 32 pages, 10 (w) x 10 (h), © 2013, 04/01/2013
- PDF (9781627530033): 32 pages, © 2013, 04/15/2013
- Hosted ebook (9781627535632): 32 pages, © 2014, 08/15/2013
- Suggested Interest Level: Age 0-4 - Age 6
- Suggested Reading Level: Grade 3
- ATOS Reading Level: 1.8
- ATOS Interest Level: LG
- Accelerated Reader® Quiz: 158464
- Accelerated Reader® Points: 0.5
- JUVENILE FICTION / Imagination & Play (JUV051000)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Humorous Stories (JUV019000)
- JUVENILE FICTION / Boys & Men (JUV005000)
School Library Journal Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day!"
Reviewed on 1 August 2013
While sitting in the time-out corner, a little boy overhears his mother grumble, “He’s been a monster all day.” The child starts to fantasize about being a green, warty ogre and indulging in the pleasurable mayhem of monster truck races, nighttime playground romps, and salamander-tail feasts. The dream begins to lose its appeal when he realizes that his manners-free lifestyle would scare everyone away: “Being a monster/isn’t so great./I’m going home–hope it isn’t too late…/Tomorrow she’ll see/a monster I’m not!” Moore’s pencil and watercolor cartoon illustrations show the boy as a charming google-eyed, scaly creature reveling in a mud bath and also as a sweet-faced sleepyhead tucked into bed. The gently rhyming text is perfect for reading aloud and will spark discussions of beastly and non-beastly behavior.
Midwest Book Review: "He's Been a Monster All Day!"
Reviewed on 1 August 2013
“He’s Been a Monster All Day!” is a delightful story about a boy whose mother has reached the limits of her patience with his monstrous ways. She complains to his father in his hearing that “He’s been a monster all day!” This inspires a fantastic monster self exploration adventure for the boy that really does sound like fun if you don’t mind a little mud, worms and grime. The boy’s faithful companion on every page is his very own monster pet, from under his bed, a friend in all situations! Finally the boy monster drops off to sleep, hoping his mother will somehow find something to love in such a monstrous boy, when he hears his father declare, hearteningly, “He isn’t a monster, he takes after me!” Spunky rhymes and zany monster illustrations bedeck this delightful bedtime tale for children age 3 and up.
Clermont Sun Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day!"
Reviewed on 14 June 2013
Mama says you’ve been bad today.
She thinks you’re not listening. She says you’ve done everything exactly the opposite of what she wants. You’ve used your outdoor voice inside, broken something valuable, made a big mess, fought with your sister, and you were sassy.
Mama’s at the end of her rope, then she says something that’s a little bit odd. In the new book “He’s Been a Monster All Day!” by Denise Brennan-Nelson, illustrated by Cyd Moore, she says something that lots of Mamas might say.
The little boy’s mother had enough!
She told the little boy’s daddy that the boy was a monster, but the little boy didn’t quite understand why. He thought he was good. He was just having fun. But if she thought he was a monster, well then… that was exactly what he’d be!
Monsters are scary and growly, they stomp and snarl, and they have fangs. Definitely, monsters scare people away. Maybe one of them would be Mom!
Yep, monsters are scary but they’re not scared. So the little creature that lived beneath the boy’s bed wasn’t so frightening anymore – in fact, that little under-the-bed monster made a good pet for a big-boy monster.
Maybe, he thought, he’d be the kind of monster that flies or has scales like a dinosaur. He’d be able to play in the mud, make lots of noise, and stay up all night because nobody tells a monster what to do. He could eat yucky things and be very silly if he wanted. And there’s absolutely no need for a monster to have manners.
On the other hand, being a monster can be very lonesome. Who wants to play with someone who’s growly and snarly, anyhow? Nobody likes monsters, really. And it’s no fun to eat ice cream or go to the beach all by yourself.
Maybe he wouldn’t be a monster after all. Maybe he’d just be a little boy.
He hoped Mom forgot about how naughty he was. Maybe she wouldn’t remember and he could start all over tomorrow. Perhaps Daddy would have something good to say to help Mom feel much, much better…
Don’t you sometimes look at your child and wonder what really goes on inside that little head – especially when frustration slips from your lips? “He’s Been a Monster All Day!” is one cute possibility.
There’s big imagination inside author Denise Brennan-Nelson’s main character, as well as a mile-wide mischievous streak. Her little monster-boy lets his wild side go, thinking up all kinds of rowdy things to do – most of which, I’m sure, the average child has likewise considered.
Of course, half the fun of a picture book like this is in the illustrations, and Cyd Moore adds nothing but delight to this story. Kids and parents alike will love the vibrant colors and the giggle-making artwork.
I think that if you and your child have ever had One of Those Days, then this is a book you’ll want on your shelf. For 3-to-6-year-olds, “He’s Been a Monster All Day!” ain’t bad.
Reading Today Online Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day!"
Reviewed on 1 June 2013
A mother describes her son as the monster he has been all day. When he hears his mommy say that he decides to REALLY become a monster and begins his tirade (rumpus?). At this point, the illustrator depicts the young lad as a scaly green, wild haired, toothy monster as he begins to prove his mother’s observation rings true. He yells and yowls, plays in the mud, revs up his monster trucks and runs wild all night. He discovers it is not quite so fun to be a monster alone. Exhausted, he falls into bed and returns to the sweet, but sleeping, little boy that mother loves. This book begs to be read or compared to Sendak’s Max from Where the Wild Things Are. Read more about author Denise Brennan-Nelson in this interview on the Engage blog.
A Book and A Hug Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day!"
Reviewed on 1 June 2013
Sitting in a lonely corner in the other room a little boy overhears his parents talking about him. “He’s been a monster all day,” his Mom tells his Dad. Well, he thinks to himself, if they think I’m a monster, then I’m going to imagine my monsterness in all of its possibilities and wow, is he an awesome monster.
The day bursts wide open with monstrous doings. Turns out he’s been a fabulous monster all along and that includes the fangs that chop metal, one oogly eye, “dinosaur scales and maybe I fly?” He’s driving those monster trucks as a monster should and he’s staying up all night because no monster is afraid of the dark. (Monsters might even cut the cheese and not apologize.)
In hilarious, mischievous and wonderfully disgusting rhymes, we follow him through his new world of monsterness and monsterosity.
But wait, after all that fun, it turns out maybe being a monster isn’t everything it could be. Maybe …just maybe it’s truly monstrous.
A love story after all.
Examiner.com Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day"
Reviewed on 17 May 2013
Any mother who has ever called her child a “monster” will enjoy reading “He’s Been A Monster All Day,” by Denise Brennan-Nelson, about a boy who overhears his mother saying that about him. It inspires him to imagine what it might be like to actually turn into a monster. Reminds you of “Where the Wild Things Are,” doesn’t it? Me too.
And like that classic, hilarity ensues here as our hero, in this case a “monster” himself, takes off on adventures. He decides he’s no longer scared of the monster under his bed, and instead makes it a pet named Ted. The story rhymes nicely, and the colorful illustrations by Cyd Moore add to the story — especially the appearance of the trusty cat who appears on most pages.
The moral is that being a monster can be lonely without a special someone to spend time with. No one at the beach wants to play with a monster, and eating an ice cream cone alone isn’t nearly as fun as when there’s someone to share it with.
My second grade assistant reviewers liked the book, and Miles commented that his favorite part was (spoiler alert) when the monster “said no manners and then farted and it stinked.”
So there’s obviously something that will appeal to everyone in this picture book for younger readers. A good book also for a parent with a child or two who might recognize themselves in the pouty protagonist.
Booklist Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day!"
Reviewed on 15 March 2013
With his rosy cheeks and impish smile, how could the little boy in this picture book possibly be mistaken for a monster? But that’s exactly what his mother, surrounded by a path of destruction, calls him: “He’s been a monster all day!” The boy, who overhears her, looks so sad about being called a monster that readers and kids will likely feel sorry for him. In response, the boy says, “I wonder why my mommy / thinks that of me? / I guess if she does / then a monster I’ll be!” At this point, the book shifts into fantasy as the boy, depicted by Moore as a warty, toothy green creature, sets off on a mud bath–filled, monstertruck-driving, manner-free romp. Eventually, though, he realizes nobody wants to befriend a monster, and hopes “maybe by now / Mommy forgot.” (Aww.) With sound effects throughout, this rhyming read-aloud provides the opportunity for discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with preschoolers, as well as the concept of unconditional love.
Kirkus Reviews "He's Been a Monster All Day"
Reviewed on 15 March 2013
A mother’s descriptive complaint sets her misbehaving preschooler to imagining the enjoyment of the crude mischief of a monster’s life.
Transforming himself into a scaly-skinned, green-faced ghoul, this boy begins to growl and grumble, sneer and scowl. He befriends the pet monster under his bed and makes general mayhem. This little guy revels in the grime of the gooey, slimy mud, loudly revving up his monster trucks and staying up all night, unafraid of the dark. But without manners and basic courtesy (please and thank you), he realizes that playing solo is disappointingly unpleasant. “Being a monster isn’t so great. / I’m going home—hope it isn’t too late….” Cozy in bed, sweetness returns him to a brown-haired, smooth-featured, sleepy little human. Moore’s soft-toned, gentle and whimsical cartoon drawings in pencil and watercolors easily complement the smoothly readable, rhyming text.
Author: Denise Brennan-Nelson
Denise Brennan-Nelson has written a number of books for children, including Tallulah: Mermaid of the Great Lakes, Leopold the Lion, Someday Is Not a Day of the Week, My Momma Likes to Say,and the popular Willow series. As a national speaker, Denise encourages adults and children to tap into their imaginations to create richer, fuller lives. She travels the country, sharing her reading and writing enthusiasm with schoolchildren and teachers. Denise with her family in Howell, Michigan. She strives to spend each day teaching and learning with a creative spirit. Find out more about Denise at www.denisebrennannelson.com.
Illustrator: Cyd Moore
Growing up on a farm in Georgia, Cyd had lots of time to dream…a lot of time to be quiet… lying all warm-in-the-sun flat-on-your-back in a wheat field…thats when she learned to feel and notice magic in the ordinary world. She went on to study graphic design and fine arts at the University of Georgia. Cyd is the illustrator of over 35 books, including the I Love You, Stinky Face series. She currently resides in southeast Michigan and loves to travel, practice yoga and garden. Speaking to schoolchildren and attending conferences is also something Cyd loves to do.
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