Children's and Young Adult Reading Books

“The Monster at the End of the Book” turns 50

Let’s hear it for The Monster at the End of the Book! The dramatic tale starring Grover, a cute, furry little monster, was my favorite bedtime story when I was a child. My parents enjoyed it, too. The lively book gave them the perfect excuse to make silly voices and get loud, eliciting giggles as the tension mounted.

copies of Monster at the End of the Book for sale
This copy is listed by Rare Book Cellar (Pomona, NY).

Sesame Street broke new ground in the realm of children’s education and entertainment and that didn’t shift with the creation of this Little Golden Book in 1971. Unlike many other works meant for children, the narrator doesn’t talk down to their young audience. It’s very engaging, as Grover breaks the fourth wall from page one. He begs the reader not to turn the pages and hasten his approach to meeting the scary monster promised in the title. Even the typography is something to behold: it is bold and changes dramatically to give strong emotion to the story.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only kid with such good taste in stories. The Monster at the End of This Book was a smash hit, selling a record-breaking two million copies in its first year. Since then, over 13 million copies of the book and its variations have been purchased. It remains one of the top ten bestselling Little Golden Books.

The author, Jon Stone, was one of the original creators and writers for Sesame Street and The Muppet Show alongside Jim Henson.

The iconic illustrations are by Michael Smollin, who also created illustrations for TV Guide, Time magazine, and a number of other Sesame Street books.

Collecting The Monster at the End of This Book

The Monster at the End of This Book has been established as widely beloved, but is it collectible? Since so many copies have been printed and sold it is by no means scarce. As with most other children’s books, the condition is key. Instead of going for a first edition, try to find a copy in nice shape – quite a feat when you consider how children can treat their books! Browse all of the copies available from Biblio sellers.

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