“If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed” by Denise Vega and Zachariah Ohora
This book is fulfilling all my dreams of having a giant, rainbow striped, furry monster for a friend. Because who wouldn’t? Truly though, I am a HUGE fan of this book! It is written in the format of a little girl giving you advice on how to help hour monster go to bed. Her bedtime routine with him involves a monster smoothie, flossing, quirky lullabies and lots of other fun. Kiddos will get a big kick out of hearing how monster bedtime routines are similar to, and different from their own. Plus, she throws in a fair amount of hilarious advice on what not to do that will definitely bring on a chuckle or two.
There are so many other reasons to love this book beyond the fantastic premise. The illustrations are bright, neon colors that just scream fun. The text in about half the book is in a font that is meant to look like a child’s handwriting as if the protagonist in this book hand-wrote all her advice herself. Also, the monster is completely lovable. This one is definitely a winner.
Click here to purchase If Your Monster Won’t Go To Bed
Green Bug Juice Smoothies
One of the pieces of advice in this book for putting your monster to bed is to “Pour your monster a nice big glass of calming, crunchy, oozy bug juice slimed with oozy-gooey snail trails.” When I read that and saw the illustration with the green smoothie in the blender and a glass with an adorable skewer of bugs, I just knew that had to make a “Beyond the Book” inspired recipe. Besides, at the end of the page it says: “No monster can resist this. (And maybe you can’t either? Go ahead. Take a sip.)
Because I wanted this recipe to make a good before-bedtime snack I opted to make a healthy smoothie. Sure, the skewers include candy and there is some fruit inside which does count as sugar, but you can just opt to not do the gummy bugs if you are concerned. Besides, it has spinach in it. (Which is seriously the only way I can get my toddlers to eat it.)
The part that I was most excited about, and honesty the part that my toddler was the most fascinated with, was the bug skewers. We just used wooden cooking skewers that I clipped to the desired lenthg for my cup. The gummy bugs I used were a gummy worm to top it and two gummy spiders below. Okay, confession, they aren’t gummy spiders they are octopuses. They didn’t have any gummy spiders that I could find at our grocery store so I improvised. Besides, the octopuses were just a candy blob surrounded by eight long legs. Totally works, right?! (Here are the gummy octopuses I used and here is a gummy spider option I found later.)
I hope that you and your kiddos enjoy this smoothie as much as we do and I hope that maybe, just maybe, it makes putting your Little Monsters to bed a little bit more fun.
If you give this Beyond the Book activity a try I’d love to hear how it goes! Share it on Instagram using hashtag #beyondthebook (I’m on Instagram as @book.nerd.mommy) or even just comment here with your thoughts. It would make my day! Or to simply save for later pin the image below.