Title: The Monster on Top of the Bed
*Author: Alan H. Jordan
Illustrator: Manuela Pentangelo
*Publisher: Jordan Press
Misunderstandings, miscommunication, fear of bedtime, differences and language barriers are just some of the issues that are brought to light by author Alan H. Jordan in his book titled “ The Monster on Top of the Bed.” Suzy sees something in her room and wonders what it might be. She hears a sound that is coming from a critter that has red scaly legs. When you look at her startled expression on page 4 you know that she is genuinely surprised when she sees that critter running across the floor of her bedroom and stopping in between of stuffed toys. Getting back under the covers she recites a short poem taught to her by her grandmother which lets readers know that Suzy decides whether someone is allowed to remain and when they have to go.
This critter is really afraid of Suzy. He thinks that she just might be a monster. Karrit is his name and they decide to exchange hellos. Explaining why he is scared we learn that she scars him when she jumps up and down on her bed because you see, he’s under it. Suzy is surprised that he is afraid of her and he explains that even when covering his ears he’s afraid he might be squashed. Just why is Karrit afraid of Suzy? It has something to do with food believe it or not? “What do I eat that would make you think I was a monster?” Vocabulary and misunderstanding of what words mean plays an important part in teaching children how a child who does not speak English might feel when coming into a class of all English speaking children. It teaches children that children from other countries have difficult cultures and customs and what we eat might confuse them. So, when Karrit tells Suzy that she eats cakes from pans, dogs that are hot and you EAT KARRITS! Watch what Suzy does to help Karrit! Wait until you see what she does in order to show Karrit that he does not have to be afraid of her. Just what and will he believe her you have to read for yourself on pages 20- 22 or it will spoil the surprises and lessons that everyone needs to learn. When her mother comes in to tuck her on why does Karrit hide? What happens when she explains that she has a new friend living under her bed who thinks she’s the monster on top of the bed? What does her mother do that might surprise you? Will she make him go? Will she allow him to stay? What does her mother tell her about friendship, being a friend and giving a friend space? Will Karrit remain under her bed? Will they become good friends? Read The Monster on Top of the Bed to find out. Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy to settle differences, bridge barriers, help governments settle disputes and teach all young children, adults and young adults the importance of understanding, listening and considering someone else’s feelings. This is a definite must read and the pictures will help young readers that cannot read or just starting out to read to understand the story without the words. Added in the author adds Discussion Questions for both parents and teachers on pages 32-33. I cannot wait to read about Karrit and Suzy’s next adventure. Author Alan H. Jordan really hit the mark with this great book. Thank you for autographing the book to my niece Penelope Mia making it even more special.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer