All four of my own children clamored for the Sesame Street book titled, The Monster at the End of This Book. On each double page spread, Grover begged them, “Please don’t turn the page because there’s a monster at the end of this book and I am so scared of monsters.” Of course, they loved to tease Grover, so they kept turning pages. The book ends with a smiling Grover, announcing, “I, furry, lovable old Grover am the monster at the end of this book and you were so scared” (Stone, 1971). Despite the silliness of the whole book, it did breed an excitement about turning the page and was a clever way to instill interaction between author and listener or reader. Published in 1971, this particular book was possibly one of the first picture books to show the influence of postmodern thought. It recognized the reader/listener as someone who had a role to play in the story as it unfolded, someone who could influence the outcome or meaning of the story, and ultimately, someone who could question the authority of the text or the author. In the decades since the publishing of this book, many more picture books have been published that bear the mark of postmodernism, so many, in fact, that a new subgenre, postmodern picture books, has been suggested (Goldstone, 2004).
"Postmodernism and Children’s Literature,"
International Christian Community of Teacher Educators Journal: Vol. 2
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/icctej/vol2/iss2/2