Many children fear monsters and let their imaginations go, thinking of weird-like creatures that are waiting for them in hidden places. Mercer Mayer has written on this topic in There’s a Nightmare in my Closet. Disney Pixar created the Monsters, Inc. movie. Meg Rosoff created Jumpy Jack and Googily. Books are a tool for children to talk about and face their fears. It’s also a creative idea to write about a monster in a friendly sort of way.
In Meg Rosoff’s book, Jumpy Jack, a snail-like creature, is worried about monsters. Each time the friends encounter an object or place that a ‘monster’ might jump out at them, Jumpy Jack’s friend, Googily will check. Ironically, Googily is blue, big-eyed and has sharp-looking teeth. Sophee Blackall illustrates Googily in all the poses his friend fears, yet not scaring his friend at all. The children will love looking at the illustrations and probably laugh at the irony of the fear.
Savorings for reading and in writing for Jump Jack and Googily:
- Conversational text – each scene is introduced by Jumpy commenting to his friend
- Small Moment – an afternoon walk
- Writing Idea – fears, imagination
- Repeating Structure – “No monsters here,” said Googily. “Or here.” “Phew,” said Jumpy Jack.
- Transitional response (I’ m not sure what to call this, but the phrases are used in transitions and in response to a friend’s statement) – Perhaps I am, Nonetheless, All the same, No doubt
(Warsaw Public Library)
a boy read