FRANK THE MONSTER PART I: THE MONSTER IN THE NIGHT
On Frank’s ninth birthday, something happens that will change his life forever. His neighbor Alice’s dog Uffe is so excited when Frank treats him to a piece of cake, that he accidently bites Frank’s finger. Shortly after, Frank starts having mysterious dreams. In his dreams, he has four legs, and fur, and a wagging tail. All he wants is for someone to pet him, scratch him behind his ears and cuddle with him. But why are everybody so scared of him?
Meanwhile, a rumor spreads through town. People are saying that there is a monster living in the forest, a bloodthirsty beast who attacks innocent people. Could it possibly be that Frank’s dreams are not dreams?
Exciting, fun and just the right level of scary, with cliffhangers which make you want to read more. The Monster In The Night is a story about monsters and humans, about not fitting in, and about finding your pack.
The books about Frank are a big commercial and critical success and have been sold to several countries. Sofia Falkenhem has made the beautiful illustrations.
“My five year old has finally cultivated a passion for books that do not end the same evening as you open them. This is a win for both of us. One book we lost ourselves in is Mats Strandberg’s The Monster in the Night.” – Dagens Nyheter / SWE
“A both exciting and sad story about not fitting in and discovering a different way out of loneliness.” – Aftonbladet / SWE
“Mats Strandberg writes catchy, simply and unsentimentally about alienation, the desire to find your pack and the human fear of the unknown. Between the lines one can also find in the book’s significance as a comfort as well as an exciting portal into other worlds. – Folkbladet
“When we were done reading The Monster in the Night my boys immediately wanted to know when parts 2 and 3 are published.” – Jönköpingsposten
”The Monster in the Night sure want you to read more.” – Katrineholmskuriren
“He has found the right level. It is not too childish, not too simplistic. I look forward to the rest of the series. Sofia Falkenhem’s wonderful illustrations makes it less scary.” – Alba
“You cannot expect anything but the best and the most initiated by Strandberg – he knows his horror and fantasy and ancient tales.” – Kulturvinden, blog / SWE
“You don’t have to be horror geek to love this book. It is enough to enjoy reading.” – Litteraturmagazinet
“The Monster in the Night is a well written and multilayered chapter book about accepting who you are, but also about how xenophobia arises in the fear of the unknown and different.”
These books are beautiful…
My daughters love these books, and however impossible it would seem, they like The Monster At The Circus even more than the first one. I must say I have never heard louder protests when I stop reading, or as inventive methods of bribery to keep me going.
– Boktokig (blog)
…a new, emotional, exciting and sometimes scary adventure… (Frank is) a believable character who can give comfort to many.
– Sofies bokblogg
The idea came in the form of a small, fluffy, ridiculous dog. It belonged to our friends, and we all fell in love with it during a summer weekend by the sea. It was the kind of dog that throws itself at your feet, lies on its back and DEMANDS that you scratch its belly.
I started thinking about how all dogs supposedly originate from wolves, and how hard that is to believe when you see a dog like this. And like the horror writer I am, this got me thinking about the werewolf mythology. What kind of monster would you transform into if you were bitten by an over-affectionate dog like this one? Perhaps you would become a big, fluffy creature who hunted people – not to kill them, but to be scratched and tickled and stroked?
I never wanted to write children’s books, but this idea wouldn’t leave me alone. It wagged its tail at night and begged for attention when all I wanted was to go to sleep. I started thinking of a boy who was a lot like me when I was nine years old; quite lonely, not really sure how to act around other kids. His parents are good people, but sometimes really clueless.
I named this boy Frank Steen, and through the monster, his real self could surface; someone who wanted affection, friends, a place in the world. The story grew. I wanted Frank to find his own pack, when and where he least expected it. And when I realized that the fear of monsters would spread like wildfire through the town where Frank lives, it also became a story about the fear of the unknown, and how that fear can make people dangerous. My own sorrow over the current state of the world leaked onto the pages. But so did my belief in the power of love and understanding.
I wrote these books for my nine-year old self. He loved the stories of Astrid Lindgren, where sadness was allowed to co-exist with excitement and thrilling adventures. I would never compare myself to Astrid, but I was hoping to write a book for every kid who feels like he/she doesn’t fit in. I wanted these books to comfort kids like Frank. But in the end, it was Frank and his new monster friends who comforted me instead.