September 10, 2014

Picture Book Preview - Honesty Monster

Below is a idea I recently wrote up about a potential picture book.  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!

Honesty Monster
 “It wasn’t me,” I cried, “It was the monster.”
“Tyler, I’ve had enough of your lies. I saw you grab that cookie. Stop being so rude and just be honest,” warned mom.
 “But Mom,” I moaned.
“But nothing,” said Mom. “Up to your room until you can be honest.”
I stomped angrily up the stairs to my room, with the monster right behind. Trying to fight back tears as I closed my door, my sadness turned into anger when we were alone. Just me and the monster. The monster I named Fib.
Fib showed up for the first time late last summer when I told a teeny tiny lie about losing my brother’s baseball. I hadn’t meant to lose it, but it happened. When my brother confronted me, Fib was there and gave me the words to say. Afterwards, when those words didn’t work, he was there to keep me company when my parents grounded me. He was such a cute little guy.
When Dad asked me about the missing Halloween candy, Fib whispered in my ear to blame it on my little sister. I did, but my dad didn’t believe me. I wish my dad listened to me like Fib did. It wasn’t even a big deal.  Fib agreed. I had only taken a few pieces. I think Fib might have eaten more candy than me. He was growing into a bigger monster.
When my little sister accused me of drinking Santa’s milk, eating his cookies, and opening the Christmas presents early, Fib comforted me and helped me figure a way to get my sister back. Now that her doll has a new haircut, I don’t think she’ll be tattling on me anymore. Much like my dog, Fib must have put on his winter coat because he was huge now. For some reason, he also wasn’t as cute anymore.
When Fib first started showing up, I loved having him around. My stomach felt a bit queasy having a monster at my side, and not because of all the extra cookies. Either way, it was worth it to have company when I needed it most.
As his visits became more and more frequent, my stomach didn’t hurt anymore when he was around. When Fib was with me, I could do whatever I wanted.
Before I knew it, Fib was with me all the time. At home. At school. Everywhere.
But having Fib with me wasn’t always the best thing.
Fib made me a different person. I was more worried about keeping Fib happy than I was about spending time with my friends. My friends told me I was acting like I was better than them. They didn’t like the person I was becoming. They stopped coming over.
Fib also acted up when I was with my family. My parents were worried. They told me I only cared about myself. I didn’t understand why they couldn’t accept Fib. He had practically moved in with us, though he only seemed to want to spend time with me.
The more time I spent with Fib, the more I realized he was scaring away my friends and family. When he was around, they weren’t.
I also noticed Fib got bigger and uglier each time I saw him. He was like a weed choking out the flowers. He was becoming too much. He had to go.
Then, an idea hit me. With every lie, Fib was growing bigger, growing uglier, and getting more and more control of MY life. What if I was honest? Would Fib leave? Only one way to find out.
I headed down to see my mom. Fib followed right behind. I found her in the middle of washing dishes.
“Mom, can I talk to you?” I asked.
“Well, if you’re going to tell me more nonsense, I’d rather you not,” she replied.
“No, Mom.  I wanted to say I’m sorry. Sorry for taking the cookie. I won’t do it again.”  As I apologized, I noticed a puzzled look on Fib’s face.
“I appreciate that Tyler, I really do.” she said with a cautious smile.  “Now, I only hope you mean it and show it with what you say and do.”
I understood what I had to do. I think Fib knew too. He kept on whispering words into my ears. As I refused to listen and tried to ignore him, I could see him getting frustrated. 
I told the truth to my brother about “borrowing” and losing his baseball. Fib was noticeably smaller.
I confessed to my dad about the candy. Fib got even smaller and weaker.
I even apologized to my sister about opening up the presents too soon, eating Santa’s treats, and giving her doll a haircut. Fib had a furious look on his face and seemed to be shouting, but I could barely hear him anymore. 
Seeing my plan working, I tried to be honest to everyone all the time. Fib worked hard to come visit, and I worked even harder to make sure he stayed away. His visits became less and less frequent, but when I turned him away, he just left. He was so tiny now, he didn’t even put up a fight. Fib wasn’t willing to give me a second chance like my family did. It’s almost as if he had given up on me. Maybe he had found someone new.
Even though he was practically out of my life, I wasn’t lonely. My friends wanted to spend more time with me. We swam in the lake, took bike rides down to the playground, and played video games on rainy days. My family trusted me again and we did more together besides argue.
Fib was gone.

However, I did notice a different little monster stroll into my little sister’s room. I have a feeling she is going to need a lot of cookies.

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