Meet Toby: a young monster who has skin like a fish, fur like a dog, and smells like cotton candy when he gets excited. He lives with his family in the basement of Marymount Mansion and once a year ventures out into the real world when everyone is dressed for Halloween. Toby becomes frustrated with hiding below ground and sets off on an all-important quest.
Author: Gregory G. Allen
Illustrator: Shelby Goodwin
Pub Date: October 10, 2023
(children's chapter book)
Format: Trade Paperback
Genre: Fiction (128 pages)
These drawings are from a group of 1st graders who read the manuscript for The Monsters of Marymount Mansion and gifted me with their visions of how they believe the monsters look. This was all before Shelby Goodwin's illustrations for the chapter book have been completed, so they were using their OWN imagination. I love these!!!
Did you know one of the best ways to show support of your favorite authors/books is to leave a review online? I would really appreciate those who have read the book & enjoyed it to click on links below to review Monsters! (You can cut/paste to each site after writing it once. 😉)
“A fanciful and compassionate approach to being ‘different’…Young readers will root for the courageous Toby as curiosity about the human world drives his quest to be free to be himself there, convinced that “we should be able to get along with others who aren’t exactly like us.”…a message of empathy is delivered with quirky charm.” - Kirkus Reviews
"Get ready for an unforgettable journey with Toby, a unique and lovable monster tired of hiding in the basement of Marymount Mansion. Halloween is the only time of year that he can safely roam free in the world. Toby decides to embark on a daring quest to escape his underground life and discover a world beyond his confined existence. With furry green skin and a scent like cotton candy, Toby is not your ordinary monster. The Monsters of Marymount Mansion would be the perfect addition to any children's library. Its message is essential for all children to learn and embrace. Author Gregory G. Allen has written an excellent life lesson children's book that delivers essential messages of diversity and inclusion. The characters are so well-developed that they will quickly warm your heart. This captivating book will soon become a favorite among children and adults."
-Suzie Housley for Midwest Book Review
"Superbly written and bold narrative…a thought-provoking and heartwarming story that will keep even the most reluctant readers glued. The story moves at an even pace with a great deal of world-building as the little monster takes in breathtaking scenes and the diversity around him comparing this with what he is accustomed to. The writer flavors his narrative with a graceful style and lucid prose bound to leave readers fulfilled and yearning for more. The cover page, beautifully illustrated by Shelby Goodwin, is eye-catching and arresting, creating an aura of prickling anxiety and mystery, accentuating the story herein.” 5 STARS
-Lily Andrews for Reader Views
"A fun, Halloween-themed book that will teach children and adults that being different is what makes each one of us special. Children will be drawn to this book by its colorful cover with a picture of Toby smiling and the whimsical font used for the title. The book just looks like it will be a fun read! With a character-driven plot and sweet illustrations throughout, The Monsters of Marymount will make children smile, laugh, and cheer from cover to cover." 5 STARS
-Kristi Elizabeth for Manhattan Book Review
“Gregory G. Allen offers readers a fascinating, engrossing children’s tale while providing valuable lessons about staying curious and embracing one’s uniqueness. A wonderful story that is as enlightening as it is captivating. Allen’s characters are original and intriguing. Shelby Goodwin’s wonderful illustrations integrate beautifully into the adventures in the story. Toby’s escapades will inspire children to appreciate their distinct qualities and seek advice when faced with questions to which they do not have answers. The Monsters of Marymount Mansion by Gregory G. Allen is a delightful, absorbing children’s tale with fantastic characters, engaging illustrations, and insightful lessons that readers will find unforgettable.” 5 STARS
- Edith Wairimu for Readers’ Favorite
“As a mom of two, I love stories that teach children how to understand and embrace differences and this one is a charming tale of a monster accepting what makes him unique. Peppered with quirky characters, holiday adventures, and even a plucky little sister, kids will connect to the adorable Toby and his friends.”
- Laura Benanti, Tony Award winning star of stage and screen (and Mom!)
"The beauty of fable is how we get to enjoy a story where we get to see animals think, feel, talk and navigate the world and delight in it, soon finding we are really seeing ourselves. Allen’s setting and characters are a young and middle (and okay, adult’s too) happy vision - an old romantic mansion B&B with a warm, funny, adventurous and loving group of “monsters” living in the basement. For furry young Toby, the basement isn’t enough. And we find ourselves, following his expeditions into the world, rather like a parent - knowing the world can be cruel, but knowing that hiding in safety cannot ever be enough in a life. Upbeat, vivid, funny, and always tense - this is a beautifully drawn story about that wonderful and painful realities of growing up, for the human inside all of us monsters."
- Marc Palmieri Playwright & Author of She Danced With Lightning
"The Monsters of Marymount Mansion by Gregory G. Allen is an adventurous and delightful romp through the holidays as brave Toby and his sassy little sister explore the exciting world they have only spied on from the safety of their basement hideaway. Inventive and nuanced and charming and fun, this imaginative children’s story offers young readers a vivid adventure of discovery. Toby’s forays into the outside world reveal monsters as diverse as humans and show us that sometimes we have to be a little rebellious to discover what’s out there. I know this chapter book will find its way into the hearts of young readers."
- Glenda Burgess, Author of The Geography of Love, finalist, Books for a Better Life Award
"The Monsters of Marymount Mansion is an exciting children's chapter book that conveys messages of diversity and inclusion. The main character, Toby, takes us on his adventures and encourages the reader to explore their own curiosity. This is the perfect book for young readers to curl up under a blanket with this winter. Don't forget the hot chocolate!"
- Jennifer C. Kelly, Author of Fred Gets Frustrated
“Monsters is a beautiful story of courage, friendship and learning to accept yourself! This book is wonderful for children of all ages, whether they can read independently or as a read aloud. There are so many valuable lessons to be learned and it opens the door for great conversations with kids!”
-Danielle Jacob, 1st grade teacher and mom
“A fanciful and compassionate approach to being ‘different’.” - Kirkus Reviews
October 10 The Children's Book Review
October 11 The Momma Spot
October 12 Me Two Books
October 13 Life is What it's Called
October 14 Joannasbookshelf
October 15 The Fairview Review
October 16 Froggy Read Teach
October 17 A Blue Box Full Of Books
October 18 Twirling Book Princess
October 19 Ice Fairy's Treasure Chest
October 20 One More Exclamation
October 23 My Reading Getaway
October 24 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
October 25 Book Bug CA
October 26 Cover Lover Book Review
October 27 Crafty Moms Share
October 28 Pages for Paige
October 29 Barbara Ann Mojica's Blog
October 30 Country Mamas With Kids
October 31 Because I Said So
Copyright © 2023 Gregory G. Allen - All Rights Reserved.
* Single Illustrations by Morgan Swafford
* Monster Illustrations by Shelby Goodwin