Thursday, August 16, 2012

Marlow and the Monster

When I was little, I was convinced there were monsters under my bed. And in my closet. And probably hiding behind the couch. Once night fell, I was a real mess. Actually, to be honest, I slept with my closet door closed until I was 18. I knew there were no monsters in there well before then of course, but I still couldn't quite bring myself to let go of my childhood fear. (No issues there I'm sure.) Luckily Little Boo doesn't seem to have inherited these fears. He was concerned about monsters early on, and did want his closet door shut, but this didn't last. We talked about monsters and I convinced him I would never allow them in my house. Apparently I am scarier than the monsters, because he totally bought that I would have that kind of power over them. Cool! 

But not all kids (and parents) get off so easy. Most children do go through at least a stage of being afraid of monsters at some point. It can be debilitating (like it was for me) and can lead to a lot of frustration, anxiety, tears, and lost sleep.

Author Sharon Cramer is a mom of three who has dealt with her fair share of monsters while raising her three sons. She tackles the subject in her latest children’s book Marlow and the Monster (Talking Bird Books, July 1, 2012, $14.95).  This is a great, simple book to read with your kids, to start a conversation about their fears. According to Cramer, "We don’t want to underestimate the reality of our children’s beliefs and fears, but we do want to help them understand the role their imagination plays in controlling the things they are afraid of. For instance, maybe their monster is silly and goofy instead of mean and scary.”

In Marlow and the Monster, Marlow has a monster, who seems to be more annoying than scary. His parents of course don't believe this monster exists, as he is conveniently hidden out of sight whenever an adult enters Marlow's room. Since Marlow cannot seem to rid himself of his unwanted guest, he attempts to pawn him off on his little sister. Surprisingly, little sister helps him to see his monster in a new light, and they end the book as best friends.

This is a really fun little book, with beautiful quill pen and ink illustrations (also by the author). Everything is in black and white, except for our monster friend, who is presented in full colour, with crazy wings and googly eyes and a goofy smile. This monster is for sure a pest, but he really is not frightening at all. His colours and antics make him seem fairly cheerful and fun. Little Boo and I enjoyed reading this together.

During this bloggy book tour (Aug 13-17), the author is making the e-book version of Marlow and the Monster available free of charge through You can download it today through this link. After the 17th, you can buy the e-book for just 99 cents. A hardcover version is also available, selling for $14.95 through Amazon. But one lucky reader of Raising My Boys will be able to take home their own hardcopy version of Marlow and the Monster by entering through the Rafflecopter widget below.

Contest is open to both Canadian and US entries. Entries will be accepted until Saturday, Aug 25, at 12:00 midnight EDT. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to facilitate this review. No other compensation was received. All opinions on this blog remain my own.

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