Something to do while waiting for death's sweet embrace.


Children’s Literature Reviews: The Monster at the End of This Book

November 5th, 2014 . by Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)

Today, I’m continuing my series of blogs taking a more critical eye to books that are aimed at the younger set. This one has been a favorite of mine since I can remember. It’s The Monster at the End of This Book, featuring Grover from Sesame Street.

If you had parents that hated you, I’ll describe the book for you. Grover is “in” the book and realizes the title is “The Monster at the End of This Book.” That scares him, because he’s afraid of monsters, so he tries to reason with you…

Of course you do turn the page (because, you paid 89 cents for this book and Muppet tears do not effect your dead heart) and he gets more and more upset. He starts using elaborate methods to stop you from turning pages like, ropes, nails, and eventually bricks…

None of it works…

Thanks, Grover, I’ve been working out.

I won’t spoil the twist ending, but it’s a great one. I loved this book as a kid because Grover has always been one of my favorite Muppets, and my mom did a great job acting out Grover’s ever increasing panic and desperation. I love it as a father, because when I read it to my son, I get a chance to bust out my Grover impression and also do an impression of my mom from all those years ago.

But this wouldn’t be a Babb Blog™ if I wasn’t pointing out flaws in the narrative. In this case it’s Grover’s predicament. Clearly he doesn’t want us to get to the end of the book. Okay, so if we stop turning pages, doesn’t that leave Grover trapped there for the rest of his life? Is being trapped in a moment in time better than facing down a monster? I mean I don’t want to face down the Wolfman anytime soon, but I don’t want to spend eternity on the set of one of those “I’m a Mac. I’m a P.C.” commercials either.

But then, maybe he wouldn’t be trapped. He’s clearly standing there with nothing at the start of the book, but then as the story progresses he has all this construction stuff, wood, nails, bricks etc. So presumably he had to get that stuff from somewhere, which means he left the confines of the book. So why not bring back a bazooka or something to deal with the monster at the end of the book? Or better yet, stay wherever it is you’re getting your supplies. Stop coming back to the book, that way, when I get to the monster at the end, you won’t be there to deal with it.

Sorry Grover, it’s been 30 years and I only just now found a way to help you out. Sorry, man. Better luck next book.

5 Responses to “Children’s Literature Reviews: The Monster at the End of This Book”

  1. Erin P.No Gravatar Says:

    Spoiler Alert: He does not have better luck in “Another Monster at the End of This Book.” 🙂

  2. Tim Babb (TANcast's #1 Host/Editor Fan)No Gravatar Says:

    WHAT?! There’s a sequel?

  3. DeanNo Gravatar Says:

    SPOILER ALERT: the monster turns out to be dead Bruce Willis

  4. KikiNo Gravatar Says:

    Yes! There is a sequel! I have loved this book since I was little as well. I wish I still had it. I’ll need to buy another copy if I ever plan on having kids.

  5. Andrew, TANcast's #[square root of -1] Australian fanNo Gravatar Says:

    I remember this book very fondly. Always loved Grover. Loathe Elmo though.

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