Thursday, October 2, 2014

There's a Monster in the Dark #kidlit #imagination #bookreview

I recently had the pleasure of meeting A.J. Cosmo, the author of today's selection, There's a Monster in the DarkWe met over the internet when he asked me to guest blog on his website. I was so impressed by what I learned about him, I not only wanted to review one of his books that I had read in preparation of appearing on his site, but I also requested to interview him because I thought you would find his personal story of interest. 

There's a Monster in the Dark is 18 pages, contains 10 wonderfully, bright & vivid illustrations, and is recommended for second graders and up. It is available on Kindle.


What starts out as friendly child's play telling monster stories in the dark soon becomes quite a fright as three young boys discover they are not alone.

The Book:

Right from the opening line, the story will grab young readers. After all, how can they ignore such an opening line as this?
  • "What if I told you that right now there's a big scary monster hiding in the dark?" Jacob asked as he shone a flashlight under his chin. 
In case you haven't yet caught on through my blog, I'm a huge kid at heart. I was instantly transported into a dark room with a blanket covering my head; hanging on to Jacob's every word. From the very first illustration of a snot, slobbering monster—I was hooked. After all, as Jacob tells us, whether we know it or not, we've all been visited by this scary, slobbering, winged monster.
  • "At night it flies around the town, dancing on people's rooftops with its big hooves. I bet you've heard it before on your roof, Mason."
Of course, as I read it, he wasn't talking to Mason. He was talking to me. Had I heard those sounds before? I was still fine, until the dire warning came...
  • "It can find you, wherever you hide, because its many eyes can see through walls. And once it gets ahold of you, it never, ever, lets go..."
As the story continues to unfold, children will be delighted with this playful spooky tale, which is written in a fun, imaginative way; the illustrations will further strengthen the author's words by strong visualization. 

I can easily imagine a child returning time and again to their virtual bookshelf to read this adventure. Had this book been available when my daughter was young, I would have easily made a fun night of providing blankets and flashlights to her and her friends as I read aloud in my most chilling voice—even if that meant I might lose a bit of sleep that night! 

The author is careful not to leave a scary image in the minds of young children and twists the tale in a surprising turn that I do not want to reveal. Ultimately, we learn that we all have monsters in the dark. Amongst all the childhood antics, AJ Cosmo manages to insert a message into his words in such a sagacious manner that the reader will not be the wiser for it, but it will be absorbed nonetheless. 


A.J. Cosmo has created a children's book that will engage young transitioning readers from the first line until the last. Kids will be left asking for more—and as parents—what is a better recommendation than that?

I would like to invite you to return next week as A.J. joins me for an insightful interview. How do I know it is insightful? Because it has already occurred and it is merely waiting for me to write up! You will enjoy his thoughtful answers to the questions I posed to him. I know I did immensely.

Thank you for joining me this week on my Book Review segment! 

Wishing you all a little mystery and adventure,

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