The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover
The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover is a post-modern children's book based on the television series Sesame Street and starring Grover. It was written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin, and originally published by Golden Books in 1971 (ISBN 0-307-01085-6). It is designed to teach children the technique of reading a book from beginning to end.
It is the best-selling Sesame Street title. Based on a 2007 online poll, the National Education Association named the book one of its "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children." It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal. Sesame Workshop released this as an audio-enabled eBook on December 7, 2009, though it is no longer available.
In this book, Grover is horrified to learn that there is a monster at the end of the book, and begs the reader not to finish the book, so as to avoid the monster.
Fearful of reaching the end of the book, Grover constructs a series of obstacles, such as attempting to tie pages together, nailing the page to the next one and laying brick walls, to prevent the reader from advancing.
Increasingly frightened (and also in awe of the reader's strength at overcoming the obstacles), Grover pleads with the reader to stop reading as the book nears its conclusion.
However, in a plot twist, the monster turns out to be Grover himself, making the story self-referential. Grover jokes that he tried to convince the reader that the monster would not be scary – but we see at the end that he is embarrassed.
A sequel, Would You Like To Play Hide and Seek with Lovable, Furry Old Grover? (ISBN 978-0394832920), was published in 1976. It was also written by Stone and Illustrated by Smollin.
Another sequel, Another Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover, and Equally Lovable, Furry Little Elmo (ISBN 0-375-80562-1), was published in 1996. It was also written by Stone and illustrated by Smollin, and features Grover and the ubiquitous Elmo.
In other media
A reference to the books is made in the webcomics Dinosaur Comics and Sheldon. The cartoon Johnny Bravo had a short that was a parody of the book, called 'The Hunk at the End of This Cartoon', wherein Johnny tried to keep the cartoon from ending because there was supposedly a hunk at the end of it that wasn't him.
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 22, 2012.
- Trachtenberg, Jeffrey (December 7, 2009). "Sesame Workshop Plans Children's E-Books". The Wall Street Journal.
- "Dinosaur Comics - March 2nd, 2004 - awesome fun times!". Qwantz.com. 2004-03-02. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- "Sheldon® Comic Strip: Daily Webcomic by Dave Kellett". Sheldoncomics.com. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
- "There is a MONSTER at the end of this Twitter conversation.". accessdate=2013-03-05.