The Monster at the End of This Book (1971)

Written by  Jon Stone
Illustrator  Michael Smollin
Published  1971
Publisher  Golden Press
ISBN  0307010856

The Monster at the End of This Book was published in 1971 by Golden Press. It was written by Jon Stone and illustrated by Mike Smollin.

In this book, Grover is horrified to learn that there is a monster at the end of the book and begs the reader not to finish it, so as to avoid the monster. He uses several methods to try and keep the reader from progressing, including tying the pages shut and cementing them together with bricks. After each page is turned, the results of the failed effort is shown, and Grover tries a new method to keep the reader from turning yet another page. To the amusement and relief of Grover, the monster at the end of the book turns out to be none other than himself.

In its first year of publication, the book, which is one of the first to star Grover, sold two million copies. According to an internal Children's Television Workshop newsletter, "this figure, according to publishing sources, is an all-time one-year sales record for a single book." [1]

The book's style, with Grover speaking directly to the reader in comic book-style word balloons, was used in other 1970s and early 1980s Sesame books, including Grover and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum (1974), Oscar's Book (1975), Would You Like to Play Hide & Seek in This Book With Lovable, Furry Old Grover? (1976), Big Bird's Red Book (1977) and Lovable Furry Old Grover's Resting Places (1984).

A sequel, Another Monster at the End of This Book, was published in 1997. It was also written by Stone and illustrated by Smollin, and features Grover and Elmo as the other monster at the end of the book.

In 2006, Random House published an "interactive" version of the book, Please Do Not Open this Book!, which included moving parts and flaps. In 2009, Hinkler Books released the book with a StoryVision DVD adaptation of the book. Grover (Eric Jacobson) narrates the story as a child's hand (played by Edward Dix) turns the pages. Smollin's original art inspires the animation by Neil Goodridge.

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  1. Children's Television Workshop Newsletter. Number 27, February 1, 1973.

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