Dad: Today Lily wanted to look at a bunch of our "Grover" books. Why did you pick these, Lily?
Lily (age 7): They are hilarious-es of hilarious-es. I love them.
Dad: What is so funny about them?
Isaac (age 11): He is funny -- Grover is funny.
Dad: Here's the book I think most people are familiar with... "The Monster at the End of This Book, Starring Lovable Furry Old Grover." That is a long title.
Lily: Grover sees the title, and he freaks out.
Gracie (age 9): He tries to keep us from turning the pages.
Lily: Because of the monster at the end of the book.
Gracie: He makes a brick wall... and nails the pages together. It's hilarious! All these Grover books are hilarious.
Elijah (age 4): Buh-larious. Huh-larious, buh-larious.
Dad: So, it's not just about Grover...
Isaac: Grover is actually living IN the book.
Gracie: What is that thing called when they know they are in a book?
Dad: Yeah! Can you remember???
Gracie: Arrg - no!
Dad: What is the special word?
Dad: Not adramadoo. We talked about it when we reviewed "The Three Pigs..." Remember, you thought it sounded like a superhero name.
Dad: Close... "metafiction."
Gracie: Metafiction! It's when the characters know they are in a book.
Lily: Like Grover!
Dad: How do you feel about the fact that it's a character from television? Would it be better with some randomly invented new guy, like "Bob the Cat"?
Isaac: I like that it's Grover because of his personality.
Gracie: It wouldn't be as funny if it wasn't Grover.
Isaac: Like, if it was Big Bird instead of Grover, it wouldn't be as funny. Grover's personality helps it.
Gracie: He always gets frustrated.
Dad: What about Elmo? Usually people my age love Grover, while kids love Elmo.
Isaac: I like Grover better.
Gracie: I like Grover better too.
Dad: A lot of people know this book, and a lot of people love it. But they might not know that there are more Grover books by the same people who made this book... Jon Stone and Mike Smollin.
Isaac: These books are great. They are hilarious. They are so funny.
Gracie: You do awesome with Grover's voice, Dad.
Dad: This one has an even longer title! "Would You Like to Play Hide and Seek in This Book with Lovable Furry Old Grover? Please Say Yes!"
Gracie: That whole thing is the title!
Dad: And actually, I like this book even better than "Monster at the End..."
Gracie: Me too. It's even funnier.
Isaac: It's so funny. Grover is playing Hide and Go Seek with us.
Lily: He knows that he's in the book. He's like, "I'll hide in the crack between the pages! AHH! - No, no, no that won't work!" We could still see him.
Isaac: You can't really hide in a book.
Dad: Especially if it's just full of blank white pages.
Isaac: And Grover read my thoughts! I was thinking, it's too bad the page is just white... he can't blend in... But right then Grover said, "I'll get my finger paints and turn the book blue so you can't see me!"
Dad: Did it work?
Elijah: It would work if you colored his eyes blue.
Isaac: Grover would have to close his eyes and paint his lips.
Gracie: So far, in both of these stories, Grover destroys the books. All the pages get wrecked.
Isaac: You destroyed our book, Grover!
Dad: So how about this next book? "Lovable Furry Old Grover's Resting Places."
Lily: This one is also metafiction.
Gracie: Here's another cool thing about these Grover books... In most books the characters just talk to each other. But in these, he's not talking to somebody else -- he's talking to us.
Dad: So it's almost like we are a part of the story too.
Gracie: In this one, he shows you all these "resting places" for parts of your body.
Dad: Your elbow... your ear... your hands...
Gracie: My favorite was the belly button resting place! And Grover didn't destroy the book in this one, but he did destroy his room.
Lily: Those guys should make more of these books. There should be more.
Dad: These books came out quite a while ago. One was made in 1971 -- that's before I was born.
Lily: Hmmm... those guys probably are not alive. But maybe their kids could make more.
Dad: We have one more here: "Grover and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum."
Gracie: All of these book have the longest titles ever.
Dad: This one was made by some different people, but I think it fits well with these other three Grover books. What makes these four a good set?
Gracie: They are all hilarious!
Lily: The drawings look exactly the same.
Gracie: And Grover is still talking out to us. He's interacting, and he knows he's in a book, and he's funny.
Dad: So tell us what this one is about...
Gracie: It's about Grover going to a museum to see everything in the whole wide world. There's a "Things-that-can-tickle-you Room." "The Things-that-you-can-trip-over Room." "The Tall Hall." "The Small Hall." "The Things-you-see-on-the-ground Room."
Dad: What was your favorite room?
Lily: "The Cute and Furry and Cuddly Room."
Dad: You would belong in there, Lily. You're cute and cuddly.
Lily: But I'm not furry.
Dad: When I cut my hair, maybe I can glue the clippings all over your body.
Lily: But then I wouldn't be cute any more.
Dad: Ha ha haha.... Then I guess we're stuck.
Lily: Maybe I could get a cute furry sweater.
Dad: I wonder if there are any more Grover books like these that we don't know about?
Gracie: I hope there are. We could go online and check it out.
Dad: Maybe people could leave a comment if they know of more.
Author: Jon Stone
Illustrator: Mike Smollin
"Monster at the End" published 1971, Golden Books
"Hide and Seek" published 1976, Random House
"Resting Places" published 1984, Random House
Authors: Norman Stiles and Daniel Wilcox
Illustrator: Joe Mathieu
"Everything Museum" published 1974, Random House
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