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Picture Books That Explore and Illuminate
They were under your bed...
now they're in an app!
Announcing the
I Need My Monster app!
Watch the short trailer to see this amazing app
in action!!
Buy it on
iTunes or on Google Play,
then please post a review on either of those sites.

From Kirkus Reviews
 This little boy’s not afraid of the monster under his bed. In fact, everything about Gabe is perfect...until he takes the week off, leaving
substitutes to fill in.
 Every now and then a “things that go bump in the night” book emerges that tilts the subgenre on its pointy little head. Noll and
McWilliam’s traditional book did just that;
their app expands on the book, oozing creativity and fun. One by one, the substitute
monsters appear under the bed, but none of them are quite menacing enough. Herbert’s claws are woefully inadequate. Ralph’s claws, while
superlong, are inappropriately shiny. Cynthia is a girl monster with lipstick and a bow on her slimy tail, which doesn’t suit the little boy at all.
And Mack’s excessively long tongue is more laughable than scary. When Gabe finally returns, his boy snuggles down in his bed for a good
night’s sleep. The app leaves no stone unturned, delivering a vividly illustrated story well-supported by engaging narration, imaginative sound
effects and an original score. The interactive features and character animation consistently surprise and delight. Best of all, creators give the
app a full page of navigational help, text highlighting for beginning readers, easy access to page selection and a memory-challenge matching
game at the end.
 Whether your young ones have bedtime angst or not,
this monster is worth keeping around. (iPad storybook app. 5-8)

From The Horn Book, App Review of the Week
"...Throughout the story, the text and the illustrations (which depict the monsters as more goofy than frightening) place the boy firmly in
control of the situation, upending the typical monster-under-the-bed scenario. The narrator’s light tone and the upbeat musical score
emphasize the monsters’ lack of scariness...."

From Fun Educational Apps
TOP PICK! This app is just a joy to read with your child. Monsters are such a high interest topic for children, and this app does a great job
of creating an engaging story. The graphics and animations are
beautiful and something children age three and up will enjoy.  With options to
have the story read aloud by a narrator who uses a different voice for each monster, or to read the story to themselves, the app gives readers
a choice of delivery. Additionally, the app has two games associated with it.  There is a matching game with three levels (the number of cards
to match changes with each level).  Players must match different pictures from scenes in the story.  There is also a Follow Me game, where
players must listen to monsters make noises and tap the monsters in the right order.  So not only is the story outstanding, it's even got games
to entertain the kids!
Overall, this app is a top pick for its outstanding illustrations and story line.   The animations and interactions
engaging and fun. From the small details like the letters all roaring on the title page, to the deliciously slimy puddle of ooze
spilling from under the bed, every little thing about this app is enjoyable.  It was the immediate pick for tonight's bedtime story.

Kids Book Review
I Need My Monster is an app for kids who are new readers. The storyline is about a boy who can’t fall asleep because his monster is gone.
He goes through five other monsters before his returns. I Need My Monster works in two ways. It lets kids either read the story themselves,
or reads it to them. I liked the graphics. The images had cute touches like eye blinks and small movements. The app’s design was good. The
controls were simple and easy to use. I Need My Monster allows you to pause or play with a touch. The app also includes a game that
involves matching pictures. I Need My Monster helps new readers learn by highlighting each word as it is read by the narrator, and will read
to you if you are stuck. The music was nice, although some of the sounds got repetitive when on the same page. Overall, I thought I Need
My Monster was a cute story that gives an effective way to encourage new readers. Reviewed by Josh – Age 13

From Top Educational Apps
I Need My Monster is a children’s book turned iOS and Android application that provides a lively, interactive experience for early readers.   
At $3.99 the book tells a story of a young Ethan who is perplexed by his monster having gone on vacation.  Reading such a story with your
youngster or even in a class full of ESL learners
has never been more fun as Ethan searches for a suitable substitute monster from the
variety of silly monsters that appear in his room.

The app has a number of features that
enhance the learning experience such as a memory card game that features characters in the book,
professional narration, original music, and even an auditory memory game that helps assist with listening skills.  The developers also cite
inherent value in the Emotional Intelligence in the story.  Beyond this, the app also features the added bonus of
accurate highlighted text as
a means to promote reading skills.  It is also
replete with vocabulary specific to creepy-crawlies.

When children touch the monsters, they gnash, drool, and strike with sharp pointy claws. Not to scare as the monsters aren’t really that scary
but they certainly entertain!  That said, my own son at 3 years old, asked me not to touch the monsters because he thought they might pop
out of the page and eat us!  I’m sure he was just kidding…or perhaps he knows more about monsters than I do!

It is
a well thought out application that brings storytelling to a whole new level and does it even better than some of the biggest
names in storybook apps.  Inviting readers to interact with the story by shaking, tilting and tapping their way to discovery,
author Amanda Noll’s first picture book comes to life and is sure to bring many enjoyable nights to you and your loved ones.

Teachers With Apps
“...a wonderful adaptation of the age-old “there’s a monster under my bed” tale. Written by Amanda Noll and Illustrated by Howard
As a parent and a teacher of young children, I can’t stress enough the value of children listening to stories being
read to them by fluent, expressive readers. The voices are full of expression, with each of the characters having their own
unique voice. The sound effects and background music add to the story without distracting the user, which is a huge plus!
story is full of high-level vocabulary, which makes the story entertaining, engaging, and educational. The illustrations throughout the app are
excellent and enhance the story. Each page is full of interactive opportunities for the users. When Mack the monster appears in the little boy’s
dark room, he disappears when the user touches the lamp to make the little boy turn it on (before and after pictures included). One page
even encourages the user to shake the iPad back and forth to make the monster’s tail appear from under the bed! (I included a picture to
show the instructional graphic that pops up on the screen)
The humorous and enjoyable storyline adds to the experience for children
and adults alike. I highly recommend this app for users of all ages!”

The iPhone Mom
Do your kids think there are monsters under their bed?  What if they had a friendly monster under their bed?  I Need My Monster is a new
interactive children’s storybook app.  The storybook tells the tale of a young boy and the monster under his bed, Gabe.  Gabe the monster
keeps the boy company each night and helps him fall asleep…but, one night Gabe is late and isn’t there in time for bed…will a substitute
monster be the same?  You will have to read to find out what happens…

I really thought this storybook app was cute and had a story that was original.  There are four options on the opening page of the app: 1)
Read to Me, 2) Read by Myself, 3) Matching Game, and 4) Follow Me.  In the Read to Me option, kids are able to enjoy the story through
fun narration and they can even choose to have the “auto-turn pages” on for easy viewing.  While the Read by Myself option allows children
to read the story on their own at their own pace and still interact with the animations.  There is a Matching Game to play as well when you
have finished with the story – the game features 3 levels (Level 1 – 6 cards, Level 2 – 12 cards, and Level 3 – 18 cards).  The Matching
Game is played by turning over cards and finding matches until you have found them all.  I really liked the Follow Me game – the game is
played similar to the old game of “Simon” where you repeat the sequence.  There is a red monster, a blue monster, a yellow monster, and a
green monster – one monster makes a noise and then you must copy it, then another monster makes a noise after the first and so on…it
becomes increasingly difficult to replicate their pattern.  I think that children would like this game because the monster’s animations are fun
and the concept of the game challenges your memory skills.

I enjoyed the I Need My Monster storybook app.  I think that children would love the animations and interactions – there are many ways to
interact by shaking, tilting, and tapping the screen to make monsters appear and disappear, or change the monsters’ costumes, turn lights on
and off, etc.  I recommend this app if you have kids who like to read storybook apps, it is a fun read.

From Geeks with Juniors
How would you feel if you had a monster under your bed? Scared? Excited? In I Need My Monster, a young boy finds that he just cannot
sleep without his favorite under-the-bed monster. When the oozing, shaggy beast goes on a vacation, he tries to find an equally fearsome
replacement. I Need My Monster is an interactive digital adaption of a children's storybook authored by Amanda Noll and illustrated by
Howard McWilliam. In this darkly humorous tale, we follow a young boy -- called Ethan in the original book, but left nameless in the app for
you to personalize -- who checks under his bed one night only to discover that the monster who is usually there, Gabe, has gone on a week-
long fishing trip!

While most people would be happy to be rid of a terrifying beast, it is not the case with our young narrator. A scary monster with sharp
claws, ragged breathing and a spiky tail is what he needs to keep him bound to his bed at night. Considering his options, the lad knocks on
the floorboards to request for a replacement monster. With a creaking sound, one substitute monster after another appears before Ethan.
Much to his dismay, however, they just do not live up to his expectations. The first monster has no claws, while the second is too well-
groomed. The third is terrifying, but she is a girl ("Boy monsters are for boys and girl monsters are for girls. Everybody knows that." the boy
insists). The fourth monster arrives with a stumpy tail and unusually long tongue. The boy giggles; why would anyone be afraid of a long
tongue? So he dismisses the last monster, who tells him not to expect another replacement that night.

As the boy worries if he is going to be able to sleep, he is surprised by a creaking sound under his bed. It is Gabe, who returns early from his
trip because he finds that the fish scare too easily. Happy to learn that his favorite monster is back, the young boy declares, "No other can
scare me like you!" and dives under the covers. He falls asleep in no time.

I Need My Monster is an interactive storybook that explores the fantastic and often absurd imagination of juniors. Despite its ominous title
and theme, it is actually only mildly scary and mostly amusing. Rather than being frightened, you will delight in meeting the unique monsters
that pop out from underneath the narrator's bed.

Like most digital storybooks, the app is filled with interactive bits that are triggered by taps, tilts and even shakes. Even on the cover page,
you can tap on the colorful letter blocks that make up the book's title to watch them wiggle and grow monstrous features. The app has two
reading modes, Read to Me and Read by Myself. The Read to Me mode features an excellent narration and distinct voices for each of the
story's characters, as well as word highlighting for early readers. In Read by Myself, you can tap on any of the word in a page to have the
entire verse read aloud. Also included in the app are two mini games. The first is a three-level Matching Game in which you find pairs of
cards with the same faces, while the second is a musical memory game featuring four goofy-looking monsters. Between the sly humor and
exquisite illustrations, the app also includes interactive surprises in every page.

Things I Like: While I was never been one to believe in monsters (I was more fearful of ghosts, no thanks to an unhealthy dose of horror
stories during my childhood…), I think that I Need My Monster is an oddly fun way to extinguish bedtime fears. Its silly plot and colorful
characters would appeal even to the most timid of juniors as well as grown-ups.

As the center of the story, the monsters are unique characters that will win you over with their multiple limbs, goggly eyes and silly
personalities. My favorite is the fourth monster, Mack, who has a ridiculously long tongue. The scene where he threatens to lick the young
narrator if he gets out of bed really made me giggle.

In addition to excellent character designs, the app also has wonderful illustrations that are made even more enjoyable thanks to the use of
comical animations and spooky sound effects. I'm sure juniors would get a kick tapping on Gabe to see him produce green ooze that floods
the narrator's bedroom or tapping on the monster drawings on the bedroom wall to hear them roar.

Finally, I really like playing the mini games included in the app. They are great to play together with your juniors for winding down after a
reading session. Follow Me is my personal favorite. While it is just a simple musical memory game, I find it really amusing to tap on the
monsters to hear the kooky sounds they make. Also included are two mini games to entertain juniors after they finished reading.

Conclusion: I Need My Monster is a delightfully dark story that will tingle you with excitement. Whether you are young or old, you will enjoy
this sly and gorgeously illustrated book. Who knows, maybe after reading this story, you will want a monster of your own, too.

From Consonantly Speaking
After being afraid of monsters all of these years, there has been a revolution of books and films that show that monsters are non-threatening
and that children are no longer afraid of them! "I Need My Monster", written by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam, takes
this concept further, showing that each child needs his or her own personal monster. Recently turned into an application for Android and iOS
devices, you can see the monsters in action (and hear them growl). Continue reading to learn how you can use this interactive application in
speech and language therapy sessions!

The Main Page of the application allows you to choose the manner in which to have the book read (via a narrator or by yourself) or play a
game. There is also a button for credits and button for the help menu. You can turn on/off the background music by pressing the speaker
button in the top right hand corner. In addition, the screen itself is interactive. Press the white letters of the title to have the title stated or any
of the letters on the word "Monster" to see each one turn into a letter monster and make a different sound. Credits - Press the exclamation
point button to view the book and application credits. Help  - Press the question mark button to view what each button does throughout the
application on one screen.

"I Need My Monster" is a story about a child named Ethan whose monster, named Gabe, went on vacation fishing for a week. The child
becomes upset that he cannot fall asleep without the monster under his bed. Substitute monsters begin coming in left and right, but they are
not the same as Gabe, so Ethan sends them all back.

First, choose between having the application read to you by a narrator or reading the book yourself and whether or not the pages will be
auto-turned. Then, the book will begin. On the first page, you can have the application personalized to the child by pressing on the poster at
the top of the screen and typing the child's name in via the keyboard. Press on different items on the screen to see them animated and hear an
associated sound. Press the monster pointing fingers to navigate between pages. Press the brown down arrow at the top of the page to view
the page selection panel or navigate back to the main page. From time to time the application will display icons on the screen to show the
user actions to perform with the iPad, such as shaking it.

Press the "Matching Game" text on the Main Page to play the matching game. Choose between Level 1, 2, or 3 depending on the difficulty
you wish the user to play. Turn over two cards at a time and if they match, they will disappear. Each card has an image from the story on it.

Press the "Follow Me" text next to the musical notes to begin the follow me game. Four monsters surrounding a campfire will appear. Tap the
screen to begin. The narrator will state to "Tap the monsters in the same order". Then, a monster will animate and create a sound. Press on
that monster and if correct, the sequence will get longer each time and the high score will increase by one. If incorrect, the game is over but
can be started again. Each monster is a different color, animates differently, and makes a different sound. The narrator will state compliments
throughout game play and at the end, if a record has been beaten, state that there is a new record.

What I Like About This Application:
The text highlights as it is narrated and the narrator uses appropriate vocal inflection.
Within the text, there are images that can also be animated and sometimes make sounds. These add to the information in the text.
The book can be narrated for those who have difficulty reading/haven't learned how to read yet or read aloud by the user for those who need
practice reading.
The main character of the story is not afraid of monsters which is an unexpected plot. The story is very interesting to read, listen to, and
interact with.
The fact that multiple elements on each screen are interactive and animate/make sounds when pressed makes the application motivating and
adds detail to the story.
Including two different games with the application adds to the fun!

What I Would Like to See in Future Updates:
I would love to have the option to press on specific words and have them read aloud.

Therapy Use:
Articulation/Fluency/Voice - Have the user read the book aloud using age appropriate speech sounds/fluency strategies/vocal strategies.
Have the student use appropriate vocal inflection and different monster voices throughout the application.
Describing - Have children describe characteristics of the different monsters. Have them describe what type of monster they would like under
their beds. They can even draw their monster!
Compare/Contrast - Have the user compare/contrast the substitute monsters to the child's monster, Gabe, and describe why each monster is
not right for the child.
Inferencing - Children can inference what may happen next in the story or at the end of the story.
Emotions/Non-Verbal Communication - Discuss the emotions of the main character throughout the book as he discovers new substitute
monsters throughout the application. Talk about the non-verbal communication shown by the child and monsters including facial expressions,
body language, and vocal inflection. Children can also practice what a scared face might look like after seeing a monster.
Pragmatic Language - Children can discuss what makes them scared, if they were scared about monsters as a younger child or still are, what
type of monster they would like to have under their beds, etc.
Expressive Language - Have children describe monsters in which they would like to have under their beds. They can even write about their

From Children's Books Heal
Why I like this book:    Amanda Noll has written a humorous and original book for children about a boy missing the monster lurking beneath
his bed at night.  I love the power of Ethan’s imagination!  What a great way to help kids turn their fears into laughter.  This book is an
entertaining read for both children and adults — one that will elicit growls and slurps as each character is acted out.  It will certainly become
a bedtime favorite begging to be read repeatedly.  Howard McWilliam’s illustrations are bold and eye-popping.  The illustrations are drawn
by pencil on paper, and is painted with digital acrylic paint.  The book is very large and adds to the appeal for kids.  You may visit Amanda
Noll on her website.  I Need My Monster has won countless awards. As of Dec. 9, 2012, I Need My Monster has become available as an
interactive  Children’s Book App.

From Sweet Kids Apps
"...interesting, exciting, and encouraging all at the same time which makes it perfect for children. You can decide to read it yourself
or have it narrated. The text highlights while it is narrated which is a nice educational detail. There are 18 pages of beautifully illustrated story
with some interactions on each page. There are a few touchable elements on each page and some that require tilting or shaking your device.
Touchable elements are not highlighted so kids can be surprised when they find something to interact with. Besides the story, the highlight of
the app are the gorgeous hand-drawn illustrations by Howard McWilliam. There are many imaginative monsters which look just scary
enough for young kids. ...a beautiful and exciting storybook app that deserves to be recognized. * Beautiful hand-drawn artwork * Exciting
and encouraging story * Optional narration with highlighting text

From GiggleApps
"I Need My Monster is an interactive storybook app based on the children’s book of the same name, now also including a few extras such
as a memory-styled matching game and a “Simon” styled mini-game.

I know this title well, as I Need My Monster is a story that is often read out loud at our local library’s story time, and when borrowing this
book, the pages are worn from being enjoyed by many children.

This is the story of a boy who instead of being afraid of monsters, desperately needs one – a really scary one – to be able to sleep.
Unfortunately, his monster takes some time off, leaving the boy to find a new monster under his bed that will do the job. New monsters come
and go, never filling the shoes of the original, scary creature under the boy’s bed.

This is a faithful adaptation of this popular story, with the same text as well as included illustrations altered somewhat to fit the iPad, also
containing mild animation and hot spots....

...this is a terrific story that differs so wonderfully from the traditional fears children have of creatures under their beds."