Creating a narrative for a children’s book is difficult. You have to ask a lot of questions about your story; has it been done before? Is it similar to another narrative? Is it compelling enough for children to read? Will children understand the story? To aid my search for a strong narrative for children, I’ve decided to look through stories that I grew up with, and stories that I feel hold a strong narrative.
One Hungry Monster depicts the tale of a little boy that is woken up in the night to find monsters demanding something to eat, eventually more and more hungry monsters invite themselves in as they smell food. The story is not only fun for children and parents, but it also secretly educates children, as they learn to count and read as they go through. The story is written in a simple fashion, and we follow the story until ten monsters fill the boy’s home:
One hungry monster underneath my bed, moaning and groaning and begging to be fed!
Two hungry monsters at my wardrobe door, chewing up my trainers, and asking me for more!
Three hungry monsters in the upstairs hall, lick the flower paintings hanging on the wall!
Four hungry monsters around my Daddy’s bed, sniffing out the crackers that he’d eaten in his bed!
Five hungry monsters sliding down the rail, munching and crunching on one another’s tail!
Six hungry monsters underneath the rug, tracking down some footprints to catch a tasty bug!
Seven hungry monsters around our TV screen, drooling at commercials of sauerkraut and beans!
Eight hungry monsters on the chandeliers, they swear they haven’t eaten for almost twenty years!
Nine hungry monsters wearing roller skates, hunting through the kitchen for knives and forks and plates!
Ten hungry monsters about to fuss and kick, wont get out, they tell me, unless I feed them quick!
So I bring out one jug of apple juice, two loaves of bread, three bowls of spaghetti that they dump upon my head!
Four red tomatoes, five pickled pears, six orange pumpkins that they climb up and down like stairs!
Seven roasted turkeys, eight apple pies, nine watermelons that they wish were twice the size!
Ten jars of peanut butter but not a speck of jam, ‘cause I want every monster mouth shut tighter than a clam!
Then from behind the toaster, I looked behind and got, a little apple muffin, that the monsters couldn’t spot!
- Susan Heyboer O’Keefe, One Hungry Monster