Flannel Friday: Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau

Another Flannel Friday submission! Who am I even?!

I may just be becoming a flannel story enthusiast, folks.  This one, like the ones I’ve done before, is simple.  If you’ve read French children’s book author Edouard Manceau’s book Windblown, you’ll know his brilliance when it comes to shapes.  My library recently acquired his newly translated book Tickle Monster,  and I knew after reading it that it would make a great felt story.  The story uses a set of shapes that are transformed from a monster to a landscape.

As you read the story, you tickle each part of the monster which makes that body part “disappear.”  These body parts then become elements of a scene reminiscent of a children’s drawing – a house, trees, a car.  It’s similar to Go Away, Big Green Monster! but it’s got that added element of play with shapes.

Here’s a screen-by-screen shot of how the story progresses.

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Using a felt story like this one is a great chance to sneak in some early literacy messages about social emotional development.  Here are some examples:

  • Naming emotions helps children express their feelings.  If you’re child gets upset or feels scared, try naming the feeling by saying, “I can see you’re feeling scared right now.  Would you like a hug?”
  • Sometimes when we’re scared our bodies freeze up. Let’s practice taking some nice, deep breathes to help us calm down.
  • One way to help your child conquer a fear is to gently expose them to the fear.  Books and felt stories like this one take a common fear like monsters and make them fun and comfortable to talk about.  They also model how to be brave and address a fear which is empowering.

What’s even better – this book won a 2016 CLEL Bell Award!  Check out their website for an Early Literacy Activity Sheet with even more ideas on how to use this story to promote early literacy development.

Thank you so much Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime for hosting the Flannel Friday round-up this week! Check out her post for more flannel story inspiration.  Learn more about how you can participate in Flannel Friday.

6 thoughts on “Flannel Friday: Tickle Monster by Edouard Manceau

    1. Perfect timing! I had actually already written this post when I saw it won a CLEL Bell Picture Book Award last week, so the trend continues 🙂

  1. I love this book! To be honest, at first I thought it was just a bit of a copy of Goodbye Big Green Monster, but I was pleasantly surprised by its inventiveness. Still, that’s a lot of felt pieces…don’t know if I’m brave enough to tackle this one in story time just yet… 😉

    1. To start the story, I took some time to “build” the monster with the kids first. That helped get all the pieces in place without feeling like I was fumbling. But it was definitely a good one to try out with a small, calm group first.

  2. Do you have a template you used for this flannel board? I’d love to use it but I don’t think my free hand flannel skills are quite up to snuff to do something with such small details. By the way, LOVE this blog. I check it daily. Thank you for all you do 🙂 !

    1. Hi Jackie, thanks so much for your kind words! I’m right there with you when it comes to feeling intimidated by intricate flannel stories. For this one, I photocopied the cover of the book and enlarged it about 30%. Then I cut out the shapes of the monster and adapted them slightly. It ended up being way easier than I thought because all the pieces are just shapes. Hope this helps!

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