Wednesday, October 31, 2012

If You're a Monster and You Know It...

Read It. Move It. Share It. 
Maria from Maria's Movers lives in New York City, so I'm very glad she is safe and has power after the storm -- two things that made it possible for her to still participate in our monthly post. Each month I recommend a book for Maria to use in her creative movement classes, and then we both share out experiences with the book. This month we explore If You're a Monster and You Know It by Rebecca Emberley and Caldecott Medalist Ed Emberley. It's a fun book for Halloween!

Written and designed by Rebecca Emberley and illustrated by Ed Emberley, If You're a Monster and You Know It is one of many picture books created by this prolific father-daughter duo. Like many of the books they have collaborated on, this one is full of energy and bright colors. It's also full of monsters (the not-so-scary kind) who love to move and groove...

If you're a monster and you know it, wiggle your warts 
If you're a monster and you know it, wiggle your warts 
If you're a monster and you know it, 
and you really want to show it, 
If you're a monster and you know it -- wiggle your warts

Do you recognize that tune? If You're Happy and You Know It is a favorite song of many young children, so I'm sure lots of children will have a great time singing the song in this book, too. In fact, the book comes with a free download of the song sung by Adrian Emberley -- the daughter of Rebecca Emberley and the granddaughter of Ed Emberley! 

In addition to wiggling their warts, the monsters in this book stomp their paws and twitch their tails. They also like to make a lot of noise, so you can find them smacking their claws, snorting and growling, and roaring. The end of the book even has a pull-out spread showing the animals doing all the movements and making all the sounds at the same time...

If you're a monster and you know it, do it all!

In classic Ed Emberley style, the illustrations are extremely colorful and a little abstract. The monsters on the cover are a good representation of what you will find inside, with the boldly colored monsters popping out against a black background on every page. 

Each stanza of the song is actually given four full pages (two two-page spreads), with the second two-page spread devoted solely to the movement or sound emphasized on the previous spread. If you look closely, you'll see that the illustrations on the second two-page spread are really close-ups of some of the body parts of the monsters on the previous pages. I think it will make flipping through the book fun for little ones, especially those who can't yet read and will really notice all the little details.

I picked this book for Maria to try with her classes for a few reasons. First of all, it's October, and monsters seems to fit in really well! I also thought the illustrations and song would be very popular with her young students and provide lots of ideas for movement. The fact that the book comes with downloadable music is an extra bonus that would make using it in class even easier! 

Let's see what Maria thinks about this book here. And, if you're in the mood for some other monster books with creative input from the Emberley clan, you can check out these...


  1. We just reread this book for Ed Emberley's birthday this month! My kids love it! It is a great choice if you want to get your kids up and moving. I read it before bed --- probably wasn't the best idea!

    1. Hi, Eric. So happy to hear you guys liked the book, too, and that it got the little ones moving! I've made the mistake on reading action rhymes at night before and couldn't get the kids to settle down. They just wanted to keep acting them out :)

  2. I love Emberley books. I'm especially a fan of "Bye-Bye, Big Bad Bullybug!"

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Julie! I actually haven't heard of that one, but that title is awesome! I hope our library has it :)


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