Last week I posted about my love for Picture Books in a response to an article discussing their increasingly perilous place in the publishing world. I figured, as someone well studied in the genre, I should do more to promote some of my favorite and lesser known Picture Books as a way of bringing them at least the meager attention my blog receives. Hopefully you will enjoy my weekly spotlight and discover some wonderful little books.
Little Monster Did It by Helen Cooper
Told in the voice of a little girl, this delightful book takes a fun look sibling rivalry. When a new baby arrives, the little narrator isn't so excited. "Can't we send the baby back?" she asks at one point. Whereas most stories like this focus on some type of jealousy toward the younger sibling's attention from the parents, this book looks at it from a slightly different angle. The baby disrupts the young girl's routine. Her frustration stems less from the sibling and more from the idea of a child's first realization for the need to be considerate to others needs.
The girl's beloved stuffed animal, Little Monster, is her scapegoat in the story. A nice complex touch for young readers is that the stuffed animal is always presented as a real creature. It's up to the reader to eventually make that connection. Another aspect of the book that I love is the girl's point of view throughout the story. Even when she's in the wrong, she doesn't present it that way. I've always enjoyed that type of child character. It adds humor to the situation and forces the reader to identify the misbehavior in the character and ultimately in themselves...much like Olivia or Eloise. And as always, Helen Cooper's artwork is wonderful.