There’s A Monster Behind the Couch
By By Vianne, age 5
There’s A Monster Behind the Couch + Jo McClelland Phillips and Vianne / Maia Castaneda + Copyright + ISBN
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Dedication: For Vianne, a very scary dragon who likes to pretend she’s a fairy.
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Vianne makes peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
But she stops because she’s scared.
(Illo Note: The girl making a stack of peanut butter and jam sandwiches is wearing fairy wings. She’s stopped with a knife in the air, looking off-page.)
There's a monster behind the couch.
There’s a mighty, mammoth monster behind the couch.
Vianne knows the Monster is big and harry, but she doesn’t know if the Monster is nice or mean.
And that scares her a lot!
(Illo Note: Monster behind the couch is wrapped in a blanket, she has painted toenails which she bites.)
Vianne is scared, but she can also be brave, so she asks the Monster.
“Excuse me, monster, are you nice or mean?”
“I’m nice, but I’m anxious,” says the Monster, shaking.
“There’s a unicorn coming down the stairs. There’s an unnamed, ultra-unsettling unicorn coming down the stairs.”
“I see the unicorn coming, but I don’t know why,” says the Monster.
“And that makes me very anxious!”
(Illo Note: Girl in fairy wings next to the couch. Monster looks very scared.)
“I know you’re anxious, monster,” says Vianne.
“But you don’t have to hide. Let’s go ask the unicorn why it’s coming down the stairs.”
So, the Monster and Vianne go into the hall.
“Excuse me, unicorn,” Vianne asks.
“Why are you coming down the stairs?”
(Illo Note: Golden hooves on the stairs in the foreground. Fairy girl and Monster watching in the background. The Monster pulls the blanket over her head. Fairy girl has a gentle hand on the Monster’s paw.)
“I’m coming down the stairs because I’m upset,” says the unicorn, frowning.
“There’s a dragon eating the garden. There’s a daring, detestable dragon eating the garden.”
“I don’t know why it’s eating the garden, but I see it destroying the plants, and that upsets me a lot!” says the unicorn.
(Illo Note: Fairy girl at the bottom of the stairs looking up at the unicorn on the stairs. The Monster is hiding her face under the blanket. Through the window, we see the dragon in the garden.)
“I know you’re upset, unicorn,” says Vianne.
“But you can also be understanding. Let’s go ask the dragon to stop eating the garden.”
So, the unicorn, Monster, and Vianne go out into the garden.
“Excuse me, dragon,” Vianne asks.
“Can you please stop eating the garden?”
(Illo Note: The fairy girl in the garden looking up at the dragon eating an entire rose bush. The unicorn looks frustrated and upset that the garden is ruined. The Monster is still clutching her blanket.)
“I would,” said the dragon, munching on the rose bush.
“But I’m hungry.” Its tummy rumbles.
“I know I shouldn’t eat the garden, but I am very hungry!”
(Illo Note: Dragon looking guilty being caught eating the veggies and flowers in the garden. The fairy girl listens intently. The Monster picks a tomato and eats it. The unicorn tries to put the garden back as it was before.)
“I know you’re hungry, dragon,” Vianne says.
“But you can also be considerate. You don’t have to eat the garden. I’m making peanut butter and jam sandwiches. We can all have some sticky, scrumptious sandwiches.”
(Illo Note: Fairy girl happily inviting them all inside. The Monster tries to hide that she ate a tomato. The dragon picks roses out of her teeth. The unicorn sees that his attempt to put the plants back in the ground has failed.)
So, the considerate dragon,
the understanding unicorn,
the Monster who isn’t hiding,
and Vianne go into the kitchen.
They share peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
(Illo Note: The dragon, unicorn, Monster, and fairy girl in the kitchen eating peanut butter and jam. The Monster has finally let go of her blanket.)
And that’s not scary at all.
(Illo Note: The sandwiches are all eaten, and the new friends are toasting with glasses of milk. The dragon’s picking up the last of the crumbs with her fingers. She has jam all over her face.)
About the Author and Star – Vianne
Vianne is 5 years old and lives in New South Wales, Australia. She loves animals, rocks, and doughnuts but for different reasons. She's probably singing a rainbow and pretending she's She-Ra. (Illo Note: Left side blank. photo/self-portrait.)
About the Author – Jo McClelland Phillips
Jo McClelland Phillips was born on the shores of Lake Ontario, then migrated to the mountains of New South Wales where she lives in a bookstore with a King reader, a very scary dragon, and a cat named Annie. She is the recipient of the 2020 Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award (Reykjavík). Her mock-Cinderella story, The Glass Slipper, won the Eden Mills Fringe Festival Award (Ontario), was shortlisted for the Glass Woman Prize (online), and has been published in print and online. She is the founder of Every Story My Story.
Twitter: @JoMcClelland / Facebook and Instagram: @JoMcClellandPhillips
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About the Illustrator - Maia Castañeda
Konnichiwa! My name is Marikit, and I am the face behind marikit studios. I am a self-taught artist who is seeking to perfect her art one brushstroke at a time. I am currently based in the Philippines, and I have been drawing since I was a child. When I am not dabbling around in my studio, I work long hours as an entrepreneur and businessperson.
(Illo Note: Left side blank. Self-portrait.)