What About the Creek Walker Monster?
Nancy R. Myers
Page Publishing, Inc. (2020)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (04/2021)
“What About the Creek Walker Monster?” is the debut children’s book by Nancy R. Myers for young readers ages five to nine.
Do you believe in monsters? When Daniel’s friends tell him a monster lives in the creek behind his house, Daniel isn’t sure what to think. He wants to learn all about this monster and even though it’s kind of scary, it’s also pretty cool to have a monster living in your backyard! When Daniel runs home to tell his father about the Creek Walker Monster things get mysterious. Everyone has a different tale to tell about this monster but has anyone actually ever seen, heard, or met the monster? Hmmm… Daniel’s father recommends a trip to the library to check out the facts and what he learns surprises everyone!
This book presents a delightful conundrum for young ones. When everyone has a different story, who should you believe? Under the guise of a simple mystery Daniel learns to separate facts from fiction through reasoning, investigation, and deduction. The story displays positive social relationships as Daniel and his friend work together in the library to solve the mystery. Daniel’s father indirectly teaches problem solving and how to use perceptive thinking to discern the truth. But the lessons are not at all delivered as a sermon so kids will just think the story is fun.
The plot is fast-paced and exuberant. Such that it feels like you are in the room with Daniel as his personality comes across loud and clear in dialogue fitting for the age group. A great example of this is when Daniel’s father asks him if his best friend Lucas had ever seen the monster, to which Daniel confidently replies, “No, but he said his older cousin Keane has seen the Creek Walker Monster. Keane is in middle school.” I love that – it must be true if a middle schooler said it!
The pictures are charming! Simplistic yet vibrant, they complement the story well. Little boys will go wild over the green, stringy-haired, one-eyed monster, especially since the monster likes to eat little girls’ bicycles! I liked the dog the best, his prosthetic leg adding a subtle layer of acceptance and inclusion without it ever being mentioned. A perfect example of how a picture tells a story.
Overall, “What About the Creek Walker Monster?” is an amusing enjoyable beginner’s mystery for young children with the added bonus of a smelly monster – what more could a kid ask for?