Our upcoming book Grobblechops is a tale of a monster under the bed with a twist. We took a look at why these stories are so popular.
If you’ve ever tucked a child into bed at night, you know the thing most likely to keep them (and you) from sleeping soundly. The Monster Under the Bed. You may have had the same fear yourself when you were a child. But why is terror of this bogeyman so common? And how can you calm your child’s fears and get a good night’s sleep? The answer to both questions can be found in stories.
The idea of a monster or bogeyman that terrorises children exists in almost every culture across the world. In Spanish-speaking countries he’s known as the Sack Man, a monster who steals children and puts them in a sack. In Germany he’s known as Butzemann, and in some mediterranean countries as Babau. As children get older and start to think in a more abstract way, they will often imagine the existence of a monster under the bed as a manifestation of their fear of the dark. Some scientists have theorised that humans have evolved to fear the dark because in the distant past we were more at risk from predators at night.
It’s normal for children to have these fears. Parents and carers can help to soothe them with a fun bedtime story that makes the imaginary monster seem less scary!
The most famous example is the film Monsters Inc., which makes the monsters funny and likeable. Books like I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll encourage children to see their monster as a friend who will keep them safe, rather than a threat. The Monster Bed by Jeanne Willis imagines what it would be like if monsters were scared of humans under the bed! Under-the-bed Fred by Linda Bailey and Mr Underbed by Chris Riddell also take a creative look at the classic monster tale.
Grobblechops by Elizabeth Laird is our upcoming picture book that puts a fun twist on the idea of a monster under the bed. The boy Amir can’t sleep – he’s frightened of the monster under his bed. Luckily, Dad is there to show him that if he is kind to it, the monster just might become a friend instead! This charming and humorous story will reassure children with similar fears and help them get a good night’s rest. It’s based on an ancient tale by the 13th century poet Rumi. Unlike most other stories in this genre, which often lack diversity, it focuses on a South Asian family. Unique illustrations by the Finnish artist Jenny Lucander really make this heartwarming story stand out!
It’s out on 1st February 2019! Pre-order your copy now!
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