Just Checked In: Monsters Eat Whiny Children

Leanora Lange | November 8, 2011

Although the load of juvenile books returned this morning was enormous,  Monsters Eat Whiny Children–with its neon green cover, thick, uneven black lettering, and silly title–stood out from the rest.  Intrigued, I started reading.

It tells the story of Henry and Eve, two “perfectly delightful children who were going through a TERRIBLE phase, which is to say they whined ALL day and night.” Despite their father’s warning that monsters eat whiny children, they keep on whining. Then a monster comes and steals them. Despite having been stolen by a monster ostensibly to serve as his dinner’s main ingredient, they keep on whining. Then it becomes really fun. A series of monsters enter, each complaining about the choice of entree and grumpily pushing the first monster to prepare the”two wonderfully whiny children” differently. The monsters get hungrier and more annoyed with each other until they finally decide to make whiny-child-cucumber sandwiches. But by that time, Henry and Eve have escaped, and they eat the sandwiches vegetarian, if you will.

With its suggestion that whining is not something that only children do, this book is both refreshing and sure to make your kids laugh.

Henry and Eve’s first whines–”Outside! Outside!” [...] “Where’s my phone?” [...] and “No grilled cheese!”–are demands made on pleasure, the pleasure of playing outside upon desire, the pleasure of playing with certain toys (and not only children play with phones), and the pleasure of eating the food that you crave.  These desires are mirrored in the monster episode: the monsters want to eat what they want to eat, they don’t want to do chores, and can only be calmed down when they bounce a ball against a wall a little bit or finally get to eat.

It’s doubtful that Henry and Eve will stop whining, but by the end of the story, it seems they have grown enough in their relation to the world to recognize the pain of others and work cooperatively to escape.

A cute, refreshing new children’s book, this one is worth a gander.

Title: Monsters Eat Whiny Children

Author: Bruce Eric Kaplan

Call Number: JUV PZ 7.K128973 Mon 2010