Rediscover: The Monster at the End of This Book

For 45 years, children have been facing their fears, relentlessly turning page after page despite growing protests from Grover, reading recklessly on toward the promised terrifying end of The Monster at the End of This Book. There is, of course, (spoiler alert) no monster at the end, only Grover himself, at once embarrassed and relieved to see his horrific prophecy unfulfilled.

The book was written by Sesame Street series writer and producer Jon Stone and illustrated by Michael Smollin. Little Golden Books first published it in 1971, and this tale of suspense and self-referential whimsy has since become a modern classic of children's literature with 12 million copies sold worldwide. It spawned two sequels: Would You Like to Play Hide and Seek with Lovable, Furry Old Grover? in 1976 and Another Monster at the End of This Book in 1996, in which Elmo joins the action by encouraging readers to flip to the end to satisfy his own curiosity.

To celebrate the 45th anniversary of The Monster at the End of This Book, Sesame Street and the 2016 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Gene Luen Yang, created a social media campaign inviting readers to create their own illustrations based on the book and share their Monster memories using #Monster45 (here is Yang's entry). Monster has been adapted digitally and been repeatedly reprinted. Grover's ominous, ultimately funny fable is sure to delight little readers and adults for many decades to come. --Tobias Mutter

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