The Tickle Monster Is Coming!

ticklemonstercoverby James Otis Thach


A monster story that isn’t scary–unless you are afraid of tickles!

Why I like this for a read aloud book:

*Makes bedtime monsters seem silly
*Fun rhyming text
*The creature waiting for the monster is a monster too

Family Fun

The tickle monster is coming in this book. Try these Tickle Games at your house.

Remember this important Tickle Rule: ALWAYS stop tickling as soon as your listener asks you to. It’s no fun to be tickled too much or too long.

*I’m Thinking of a Tickle Spot

Think of a spot to tickle–neck, tummy, armpit, etc. Your listener gets one guess. If she guesses right, she tickles YOU. If she guesses wrong, you tickle her in the tickle spot.

*Pick a Number

Pick a number between 1-50. Have your listener guess a number. Again, if she guesses correctly, she tickles you. If she guesses incorrectly, you tickle her. Be sure to take turns picking the number and guessing.

*Undercover Tickles

Hide under the covers with your listener. Run your fingers on the outside of the covers and say, “SHHH! Did you hear that? It’s the tickle monster!”

Let your listener throw back the covers to look. Repeat a few times with a final tickle under the covers when you are ready.

*Here are a couple tickle rhymes. The first is one I used with my listeners when they were very young. The other is a new find.

Here comes a mousie, mousie…
Looking for a housie, housie!!

(Start walking your fingers from your listener’s toes or tummy slowly towards his neck. Speed up as you get to “housie, housie” and lightly tickle his neck.)

‘Round and ’round the garden,
Goes the teddy bear.

One step.. two steps… tickle under there.

(Either spin as you both go “’round and ’round’ or just move your hand in a circle–or you could use a stuffed teddy bear to perform all the actions including the tickling–then take one step, pause, take two steps, pause, and tickle away!

More Family Fun

The creature waiting for the tickle monster is made of shapes. Make a Shape Creature.

Using orange construction paper, cut a large oval shape for the body, two short rectangles for the legs, two longer rectangles for the arms, a crescent moon shape for the tail, several small triangles for the fingers and toes, and slightly larger triangles for the ears and tail.

Use white paper to cut two circles for the eyes.

Use black paper to cut a small crescent shape for the hair, and two small circles for the inner eyes. (Or use a marker.)

Use green paper to cut small circles for spots.
ticklemonsterpartsAssemble all the parts on another piece of paper.ticklemonstercreatureOR you could create your Shape Creature with crayons or markers. Again, use shapes–oval for the body, rectangles for arms and legs, triangles for toes, etc.ticklemonsterdraw

Scavenger Fun

The creature is made of shapes. Go on a Shape Scavenger Hunt.

First review some basic shapes.


Now start looking around the house to find objects that match the shapes–refrigerator/rectangle, window/square, etc–just to help your listener get the idea.

Take your search outside. If your listener likes, take a notebook and have him draw the shapes he finds. Here are a few shapes I found.






ticklemonsterdoorMore diamonds:

ticklemonsterfenceThe flower, rock and leaf have just one shape, but many of the other pictures have several shapes besides the main one listed. See how many shapes you can find.

There are also lots of shapes in the book. Go through the book and let your listener identify a shape or two on each page.

You will be surprised how creative your listener can be!

Reading Reinforcement

Hints for the reader:

*As you read the book, be sure to emphasize the rhyming and rhythm of the text.

*Bold or bigger words should be spoken louder.

*Speed up and slow down, and get louder and softer to increase the tension of the story.

For the listener:

*Point out Giggle Mountain on the title page. Do you think that’s where the Tickle Monster lives? What else must live there? (They came flying out at night.)

*Look at the shadow of the Tickle Monster as it approaches the house. What do you think the Tickle Monster looks like? Why?

*The little monster is hiding under the covers–do you think he is playing “Undercover Tickles”? Did you notice the shadow of the Tickle Monster again? I see the Tickle Monster shadow three times. Can you find all three shadows?

*Who is looking in the window at the end of the book?

*What does the Tickle Monster do before he goes away? Don’t let your mom or dad forget the hug!

Find this book at your local library or buy it here.