Peculiar picks are a selection of odd, funny, interesting, curious, moving, irreverent, and otherwise wonderfully awesome, but perhaps not well known, reads. Picture books for younger readers and their grown-ups, handpicked by the Library's Youth Services Manager, Joshua Carlson.
Jeremy Draws a Monster // The Monster Returns by Peter McCarty
I’m starting off this series with “one” of my favorite books, the Jeremy and the Monster duology by Peter McCarty. McCarty is best known for Caldecott Honor Books, Hondo & Fabian, and New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year Henry in Love. But his Jeremy Draws a Monster and its sequel, The Monster Returns, are wonderfully imaginative and fun to read aloud. You will experience a tale of bad manners, self-reliance, and the transformative power of friendships. If that seems highbrow, do not fret, as the story takes place over two picture books filled with a diverse cast of child characters, bizarre monsters, magic pens, and giant pink hats.
I recommend reading the two books together because they form a complete story. It also provides an opportunity to talk with children about how stories can be continued, as well as the concept of sequels. Look with your child for the interesting connections between the children and the monsters they bring to life. Also, make sure you read the monster in a really obnoxiously selfish monstery voice, that’s one of the best parts!