Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty
The first time I read this book I got to the ending and said (out loud, mostly to myself), “What happens in this book?” Eli turned to me and said, “A boy draws a monster.” Yes, that does happen. But when you read it a few more times, it becomes clear that Jeremy is the monster.
Jeremy lives in an apartment on the top floor, and doesn’t leave, but just watches the other neighborhood kids playing together in the courtyard below. He draws a monster, who shares some physical characteristics with Jeremy (mostly, that they both have a 3 on their shirts). The monster is rude and demanding in a way that is remarkably similar to my children when they are being rude and demanding. Finally, Jeremy draws the monster a one-way bus ticket and sends him away, and then the neighborhood kids want to play with Jeremy.
My kids definitely didn’t get the whole Jeremy Is the Monster thing, but we explained it to them, and they did definitely get the concept of all of us having a bit of a monster inside of us, and that we have it in our power to send the monster packing. Nice.