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MARILYN'S MONSTER

Marilyn's Monster
Illustrated by Matt Phelan
Candlewick Press, March 10, 2015
ISBN-10: 0-7636-6011-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-7636-6011-6

* A Junior Library Guild Selection

Some of the kids in Marilyn’s class have monsters. Marilyn doesn’t have hers yet, but she can’t just go out and look for one. Your monster has to find you. That’s just the way it works. Marilyn tries to be patient and the kind of girl no monster can resist, but her monster doesn’t come. Could she go out and search for him herself? Even if that’s not the way it works? From favorite picture book creators Michelle Knudsen and Matt Phelan comes a story about one little girl and the perfect monster she knows is out there . . . and what happens when she decides she’s waited long enough.

Here's what the reviewers are saying so far:

"Rich with feeling, it’s a warm, gently funny reminder to chase down one’s dreams, rather than waiting for them to appear on the doorstep." —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"A surprising spin on monsters with nicely effective artwork—and heart." —Kirkus

"Knudsen’s charming story is a great fit for Phelan’s gentle watercolor-and-pencil illustrations. With just a few lines and brushstrokes, he depicts the wide range of Marilyn’s emotions, from wary hopefulness to sullen grumpiness to, finally, utter joy. The whimsical, friendly monsters are equally expressive, and their supernatural antics in the background will tickle funny bones. Little ones feeling lonely or worried about making friends will be empowered by Marilyn’s determined, take-charge attitude." —Booklist

"Knudsen’s brilliantly simple narrative and Phelan’s whimsical pencil and watercolor drawings speak to the universal need for belonging and the anxiety born of impatience ... Every one of Phelan’s monsters is wonderfully weird, and readers will have fun noting similarities between them and their human friends." —School Library Journal

"A charmer ... Ms. Knudsen has packed a surprising amount of relatable emotion into this story of humility and derring-do." —Wall Street Journal

"Michelle Knudsen’s sophisticated story has hidden pockets of depth and Matt Phelan’s illustrations are wistfully soft, but the sketchy lines capture Marilyn’s determination too." —Boston Globe

"[A]n intriguing and offbeat story ... subtly engaging kids at their emotional core ... Marilyn is a physically expressive figure in her longing, frustration, and, finally, joyfulness ... This would make a thoughtful complement to Santat’s The Adventures of Beekle or an imaginative prompt for a creative writing or art project; it could also inspire some interesting group discussion." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books