Monstrous Fun: A Doodle and Activity Book
Author and Illustrator: Travis Nichols
Published: August 11, 2015 by Price Stern Sloan (Penguin Young Readers)
Goodreads Summary: You may think you know your holidays, but have you ever heard of Eggster? What about Fangsgiving? This fun-filled book has 64 pages of fantastic monster-themed activities, puzzles, and games, plus plenty of space to color, doodle, and imagine what these wild monster celebrations might look like. Get your pens and pencils ready, and start being monsterific-ly creative!
Ricki’s Review: We don’t typically review activity books on the blog, but we loved the way that this one takes a playful interpretation on holidays. Plus, it is Halloween week, so it is a perfect fit! This fun doodle and activity book is not intended for humans. The pages are designed only for monsters, and each activity flips a holiday on its head (from a monster’s perspective). This would be a great book for parents and teachers to get kids thinking about creatively reimagining the holidays. It would be a great kickstart to a creative writing unit.
Kellee’s Review: What I loved specifically about this activity book is the variety of fun it includes. For parents, kids, and adults alike, there are so many fun activities to do such as word searches, drawing & coloring, finding differences, mazes, hidden pictures, and more!
For teachers, I specifically like the Claws brothers trading cards which includes a photo, description, likes, and dislikes of each Claws brother. This would be a great start to writing a narrative or as a jumping off point for talking about characterization. There’s also Halloween songs that rhyme, made up holidays that could allow students to think out of the box and create their own, a comic to complete, and a page to design a machine that accomplishes a task. All of these activities are fun, but also have educational implications if done correctly.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Ask students to pick holidays they celebrate. Ask them to research customs and traditions of that holiday and to write a reflection about what that holiday means to them. Then, have all of the students design activities that creatively reimagine those holidays. This can lead to classroom conversations about perspective.
Discussion Questions: What are classic traditions behind holidays or traditions your family celebrates? How might these be different for other families?; How does the author take a monster’s perspective for this text? How might you use a different perspective in your own writing?; When creating a character, what should you think about?; What is essential in writing a comic?
Image from: http://iamtravisnichols.com/monstrousfun
Read This If You Love: Warning: Do Not Open this Book by Adam Lehrhaupt; The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone; Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems; Activity, Coloring, and Doodle Books
**Thank you to Katharine at Penguin for providing copies for review!!**