I love interactive picture books that make the reader a part of the story. It’s clear that kids love them too because it’s these kind of books that are the most popular in my school library. I Want to Be in a Scary Story by Sean Taylor and illustrated by Jean Jullien is an absolutely brilliant recent example of an interactive story where the reader talks directly to the purple monster who stars in the story.
You start off asking Little Monster what he wants to do today. He wants to be in a story, but not just any story – a scary story. You then set up an idea for a scary story and in Little Monster goes. However, it’s a little too scary for Little Monster, so you try again. It is still too scary. You keep trying until Little Monster decides maybe a funny story might be best. Just when you think you’ve got the perfect story for Little Monster, he disappears, only to surprise you at the end.
I Want To Be in a Scary Story is a hilarious picture book that you have to read aloud. You are guaranteed to have your young audience in fits of laughter. It’s the sort of picture book that would almost be better if you read it in a pair, with one person being the reader and the other being the monster. If you’re reading it yourself though you need to come up with a great Little Monster voice.
Sean Taylor and Jean Jullien are a winning combination for this book. Sean Taylor’s text makes the story perfect for performing as there are two distinct voices, with different fonts and different colours. You could even just read the text and get the children to draw what you think Little Monster’s scary story might look like. Jean Jullien’s illustrations are bold, colourful and full of expression. Little Monster’s face changes from an expression of pure joy to one of fear and shock.
I can’t wait to read I Want To Be in a Scary Story to all of the kids at my school. I know this is going to be one of those books that the kids ask for again and again but will never be on the shelf because it’s so popular.