Myra here.

This will be our last week of featuring Monsters, Beasts and Chimeras: Spooks and Spectres. As we gradually ease our way in to our new theme, let me share with you McCarty’s monsters.

IMG_9124Jeremy Draws a Monster

Written and Illustrated ByPeter McCarty
Published by: Henry Holt & Company, New York, 2009.
Borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.

In the tradition of Harold and the Purple Crayon, McCarty has created an unforgettable character that is sure to be loved and enjoyed by children everywhere.

Jeremy is a young boy who never left his room. He doesn’t play outside, although he is depicted as looking out of his window at the kids playing outdoors. To amuse himself, Jeremy uses his fancy pen to draw his very own monster.


What he didn’t anticipate is that this monster is no cuddly, sweet, stuffed creature that he can play with. This monster has prodigious appetites – he demands that a sandwich be drawn by Jeremy right away and eats it all up without even saying thank you. No social graces, in the least! And the sandwich was only the start. The monster also demanded for a toaster, a record player, a checkerboard – Jeremy’s pen was kept quite busy, not even resting for a moment to catch up with all of the monster’s demands. And horror of all horrors, he even slept on Jeremy’s bed! Talk about a guest who has overstayed his welcome.


How Jeremy dealt with this monstrous creature, I shall leave for you to discover, dear friends. This boy sure is smart.

The Monster ReturnsIMG_9132

Story and Illustrations ByPeter McCarty
Published byHenry Holt and Company, New York, 2012
Borrowed from the library. Book photos taken by me.

The sequel to McCarty’s Jeremy Draws a Monster, The Monster Returns did not fail to deliver. It has all of McCarty’s deceptively-simple illustrations with crisp, straightforward narrative that leaves only the barest essentials. I still marvel at how a few dots, squiggly lines, and sharp and curly edges can create such believable kid characters with their own very distinct features and personalities.

While Jeremy was able to get rid of his monster in the first book in a very ingenious fashion, his Monster is back in all its pink-hat-growling-glory.


The only difference this time is that Jeremy has a lot of friends! And so Jeremy invited them over to his room and gave each one a fancy pen. And together, they went on to create something so special to welcome Jeremy’s monster back. What these are, I shall leave for you to discover dear friends.


Philip Nel, one of the quintessential scholars in children’s literature, has done an extensive study of Harold and the Purple Crayon, Crockett Johnson, Ruth Krauss and how they dodged the FBI and transformed children’s literature. He has also created a list of picture books that are “in the tradition of” Harold’s mighty pen, and very similar to McCarty’s Jeremy and his monster.


Jeremy Draws a Monster: Butler Center – Kinship Project Winner, Colorado Children’s Book Award Master List, CPL: Chicago Public Library Best of the Best

The Monster Returns: Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year

AWB Reading Challenge Update: 49, 50 (35)


Read-a-Latte Challenge Update: 223, 224 (150)

*** Video ads other readers may find at the bottom of this post are NOT endorsed by GatheringBooks but are randomly included by WordPress to maintain their site. ***

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

5 comments on “Peter McCarty’s Jeremy and his Monster

  1. Catherine Johnson

    I can’t wait to read the sequel. I love Jeremy draws a monster. Thanks, Myra!


  2. Thanks for the link and for the tip on these books! I’ve a few Peter McCarty books (Little Bunny on the Move is a particular favorite), but hadn’t read these two. They seem to number among those books included in my Legacy of Harold and the Purple Crayon list. I’ll check them out!


  3. I need to read these books!


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