Sophie and the Sea Monster Review
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My four-year-old daughter recently brought Don Gillmor’s Sophie and the Sea Monster home from the library. We have been reading books together every night pretty much since she was born, but this is the first book that she asked me to read three times in a row. She then proceeded to take the book from me and summarize every page by herself.

The story starts by talking about the things that Sophie is afraid of—including wearing the wrong clothes, bats, the moon falling and landing on her house, and sea monsters. She even believes that there’s a sea monster living under her bed.

After sitting on her bed for a long time, she finally gets up the courage to look underneath, and, surprisingly, there really is a sea monster under her bed. She quickly learns that the sea monster is afraid of a lot of things, as well, including other sea monsters. Sophie coaxes the sea monster out from under the bed by reading it a story. Then, each day, Sophie and the sea monster conquer a new fear until both are finally able to move on.

My daughter loved the story’s sea monster song, and she had fun trying to figure out which line in the song matched which sea monster in the book. I think she also liked the idea of brushing your teeth with a sea monster or going on a see-saw with him at the park—where no one else seemed concerned that there was a sea-monster on a see-saw.

I like the fact that this book acknowledges that kids worry about things like wearing the wrong clothes. It also gives readers the idea of facing their fears in a fun way—like having a bath with a sea monster.

If children can take with them the idea that Sophie and the sea monster faced their fears and only good came out of it, maybe they will have a little courage to face their own fears when they encounter them.

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