Friday, July 21, 2017

PBT Techniques #8 - Adapt for a Play

Now and then I read a book with illustrations that I think do the book a disservice. Below I’m featuring one of those books and giving you ideas about using this book’s great content in a different way.
Picture Book: The Want Monsters: And How They                                          Stopped Ruling My World
Author & Illustrator: Chelo Manchego 
Summary: Want Monsters just want to make people happy. The little guy in the illustration below explains that his Want Monster, Oskar, motivates him do GOOD things, but lately Oskar has gone a little crazy! 
He wants four cupcakes, not one. The narrator gives in 
and gets sick which leads to a lot of time in the bathroom! Oskar has grown some extra thumbs. He spends too much time playing games in front of a screen. 
Now the little guy's high fives hurt! 
 The desire for attention gives Oskar a crown, but
when the boy gets too much attention, no one else wants to be around him! 
Oscar gives the boy a flower with a caterpillar in it; the boy asks the caterpillar if he too has a Want Monster. 
The caterpillar explains that eating is already all he wants to do, 
but that is the way of caterpillars so they can become butterflies. 
He suggests that the boy tell Oskar "no." 
That won't always work so just let "Oskar be Oskar."  
When our narrator had ice cream the next day, Oskar insisted on the whole carton, but the boy stood up to him. 
Oskar tantrumed, the boy ignored, and both forgot about the want of ice cream. When the best video game ever, "Zombies Ate My Teachers" came out, both were happy. 
But when "Zombies Ate My Teachers TWO" came out just 10 days later, Oskar insisted that another trip to the video store was in order.
The boy explained that you can have too much of a video game. Besides, new games come out all the time and don't keep them happy for very long. 
Oskar tantrumed, but both eventually forgot about that particular want.  
When they saw a girl win a big contest on TV, Oskar got jealous and wanted his boy to win a contest on TV, but the boy responded, "We can't have everything we want." Oskar tantrumed. Eventually, Oskar forgot. Eventually, Oskar got much smaller. 
Renamed, Oskarcito, he is being trained to want things that make everyone feel good, like kindness and sharing. 
Everyone wants those and feels good afterwards!
Hanna’s Comments: The ideas in this book offer great potential for meaningful conversation with elementary-aged children about greed, gluttony, anger, and difficult relationships. Convert this story into a simple play that your kids act out. They will relate and be able to easily act out these emotions and respond to these situations. In fact, have your children help you write the play. You might want to have some of your girls help write a character who tells about how girls struggle with Want Monsters. Expand it even further by including some of their parents Want Monsters too! Be sure to cast kids for human and Want Monster characters. The best learning happens when we are synthesizing information. That means we take various aspects of what we have learned, combine, and make something new. Writing and producing a play about this book might be a great tool for making a difference in these issues that hit at the heart of modern family dynamics.
Original Publisher & Date: Shambhala, 2016
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: They tested God in their heart by demanding the food they craved. (Psalm 78:18); A greedy man stirs up strife. (Proverbs 28:25); Take care and be on your guard for covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. (Luke 12:15); You are God’s holy temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17); Their god is their belly…with their minds set on earthly things (Philippians 3:19); Keep your life free from love of money and be content with what you have (Hebrews 13:5); Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation…The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:9-10); The desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in posessions – is not from God but is from the world. (1 John 2:16)
Idea(s) for Application: Use this book as a basis for a play that your children act out. Connect the issues in this book to some of the many scripture verses about greed and gluttony.  


  1. I am planning to use this book for a childrens easter vigil and tying it to the reading from Ezekiel - I will give you a new heart and a new spirit ... THank you for this resource.

    1. Fabulous, Kimberly! I love the scripture connection. Please let us know how it goes and thanks for the affirmation of my work! It is a labor of love. H