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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Top 100 Picture Books #62: Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley

#62 Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley (1992)
30 points

This book saved my sanity when I was babysitting my two year old nephew for a week, a nephew I really did not know well. The only time, while conscious, that he stopped crying was when I read this book. So I read it a thousand times, at least. For this reason, it will always, always have a place very near the top of my list. Thank you Ed! – Laura Reed

Fun to read. The die cut pictures often fascinate children. And this book makes for an easy flannel board or magnetic story. – Gina Detate

This was always a huge, huge hit. I often give it as a shower gift as it is such a good read aloud book for 3-5 year olds. Unlike many of my choices it is the pictures that are the focus here as the child is able to disassemble the potentially scary monster and make it go away all by herself. It deserves wide acclaim. – Christine Kelly

What kid empowerment! – Pat Vasilik

Empowerment is indeed the name of the game with this strange creation from Caldecott winning artist Ed Emberley.  In this book a big green monster is invoked.  As the die-cut pages are turned he appears, sharp white teeth and all.  But just as he’s at his most ferocious, the process reverses.  The text tells each part of the monster to go away and, with a turn of a page, go away it does.  When at long last the kid can say, “and don’t come back! Until I say so,” the monster has been exorcised, the child firmly in control.

It’s popular.  Ripped die-cut pages in libraries across the country can attest to that.  It even inspired sequels of sorts (Glad Monster, Sad Monster and Bye-Bye, Big Bad Bullybug) though nothing can quite touch Big Green Monster’s fame and fandom.  It was also rereleased not too long ago with a new shiny, sparkly package, though the monster remains pretty much the same inside.

Booklist said of it, “Graphically playful and exciting, this picture book promises to jazz up any story time and to give individual children a measure of control over at least ‘one’ monster.”

I love the hand puppet aspect of this.

  • For my part, I’ve always liked it because the cover looks like Kilroy Was Here.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Oh, yes! This is definitely a favorite among our youth services staff and patrons. It’s a staple not only in my Halloween story time for my toddler group, but also for our family story time right before our town Halloween parade. Literally “fun for all ages!”