ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ©1983 by Henrik Drescher
The opening page shows a young boy drawing a story. Feeling weary, he goes to bed without completing it. Now this would be of no great import, were it not for the fact that the boy leaves his drawing with one of the characters, Simon, being menaced by a monster. Once the boy goes to sleep, the drawing comes to life. Thankfully, two pens and a jar of ink on the table have also come to life and aid Simon in his attempt to escape the monster.
The beast lunges and the pursuit of all four begins. The clever pens draw a hole which they believe is sufficiently large for them to escape, yet not large enough for the beast to follow; they are mistaken, for the beast leaps right through, hot on their trail.
The four climb up a hill. When they reach the top, the pens form a wheel with Simon holding on in the middle, to hasten their descent. They land at the foot of the hill with a thud as the wheel spins out of control.
To their horror, they look up to see the beast lunging at them. Surely they are about to meet their doom.
In a comical turn of events, instead of devouring him, the beast gives Simon a big smooch. The four are extremely relieved that this monster is amiable. The pens then draw a nice, comfy bed and tuck in an exhausted Simon with his new-found friend. They then return to their original spots on the desk, and they too fall asleep.
When the budding artist awakens the next morning, he is astonished by what he sees. In place of the sole drawing of Simon stranded on a page with a monster, there sits a complete book, “and that’s the same book that you’ve just finished reading.”
What a clever story! Any book that involves a character coming to life is almost guaranteed to be read and reread in this house. The reason being, we have always enjoyed talking about having our favorite characters visit for a a playdate. My boys have been fascinated by Simon’s Book for about two years now. It is wonderfully imaginative, suspenseful and maybe initially for a very young child, even slightly scary. However, once the scary monster turns out to be friendly, I think it will relieve any tension a kid might experience.
As an aside, I am quite the sentimental sort, so Drescher’s dedication to his children, made me misty-eyed. “For Sofia and Emile and Joakim. I made this book for you before I knew you’d fill my life – Dad” I wonder what wonderful things my kids will say about me, their sweet momma, in their own dedications one day;-)