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Monsters: An Owner's Guide: 12/27/14

cover art

Shortly after we moved into our new home, our son started complaining about the monster who lived in his clock. It was a combination of living in a new (and creaky house — boy does this place settle at night) and an

active imagination. So I was faced with a problem: I could insist there were no monsters (and be the parent that doesn't listen), I could agree with him and go through the methods of chasing the monster away, or I could help him find a way of dealing with the monster on his own terms.

I chose the latter. Our son has always been a can-do person and loves to push himself. So I told him that there might in fact be a monster living in the clock but we should go to the library and figure out what type of monster it was. We read dozens of books that year and later he began to pick monster books on his own for pleasure reading.

Now with our daughter, she has grown up in a house full of monster themed picture and early chapter books. Though monsters aren't her thing, per se, she has a soft spot for the more humorous ones. One of her addition to the family collection is Monsters: An Owner's Guide by Jonathan Emmett.

Imagine if you could own a monster. Imagine if they came mail order from a catalog and were delivered right to your door. Now imagine if they required assembling. Imagine if the instructions were about as clear as the most complicated thing you can get from Ikea. Then imagine if the thing you built had a monstrous AI.

That's basically the book. It's an illustrated instruction manual. It also shows what happens when things go awry. It's short and silly and perfect for any future doctors Frankenstein.

Three stars

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