Today’s inspiration comes straight out of my childhood. The Monster at the End of the Book is one of those seminal, influential and eternally memorable books for me. Published as a Little Golden Book in 1971, the simple story tells the tale of our buddy Grover, resident of Sesame Street, superhero, waiter and all around awesome guy, who goes to great lengths to prevent us readers from turning the page because of a fabled scary monster to be found at the end of the book. According to the book’s history, Sesame Street wanted to come up with a compelling way to show the littlest of readers how to read a book from beginning to end. I did not pick up on that as a kid. I just thought this book was brilliant. First off, Grover was talking directly to you and as a big fan of all things Muppets, that was the best thing ever. Secondly, it was easy storytelling but comically suspenseful. It gave you permission to break the rules and turn the page, despite Grover’s pleading. But the best thing about the book was the ending! Spoiler alert:
Turns out the monster in question was just good old Grover himself!
For kids of the 70s and 80s this book has a kind of cult following. Just check out the GoodReads page for further proof. Folks even ponder the meaning of “being the monster” and that we the readers are the monster and the thing we are most afraid of. Hmm. I’m not sure lovable, furry old Grover is that esoteric or contemplative. But there could be something to this. I seem to have moments all the time where what I’m afraid of is something I’ve created in my mind and the truth is not all that scary. And like our fuzzy, blue friend, I too go to great lengths to avoid seeing what’s really lurking at the “end of the book.”
But not today. Nope. On August 13th 2012, I’m going to enjoy turning the pages and accept whatever is around the corner. Like everybody else on the planet, I have a lot of uncertainty in my life right now but I’ll never know what happens if let fear paralyze me. So here’s to getting to the proverbial end of the book and to embracing our monsters!