Blooming Brilliant Reading Club-Monsters!

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I am so excited to finally be posting another  Blooming Brilliant Reading Club post. If this is your first time reading one of these posts, then let me quickly explain. I started a reading club for toddlers and preschoolers a few years ago. We would enjoy a story and then do some fun reading extension activities. It was so much fun that I decided to bring it online to share with readers, this one is focused on going to be on monsters inspired by When I Was a Child I Was Always Afraid by Michael Cascio.

Monster Mania

Since Halloween is approaching we decided it would be great to bring Blooming Brilliant Reading Club back from the dead with Monsters! Who doesn’t love a nice monster? Kids are quite often afraid of the dark or to be alone a night. They may be afraid of that spooky tree that casts a shadow in their bedroom at night. Halloween is usually looked at as a fun time where you dress up and enjoy lots of sugary treats, However, kids may not understand all that goes on around Halloween and may find themselves frightened. That leads us to our book selection for this week.


‘When I Was A Child, I Was Always Afraid’ written by Michael Cascio illustrated by Bentley Wong, is a beautiful story that encourages kids to conquer their fears. Kids process things differently than adults, in this story a little boy finds himself frightened quite often. He is afraid of almost everything! The attic, the basement, even the tree outside his window makes him fearful. How can he deal? Well, luckily he has a pretty amazing father who he goes to, his dad helps him understand that he has nothing to fear and helps him to conquer his fear once and for all.

There is so much about this story that we love. It has a wonderful rhythm, wonderful illustrations that through the use of color help you process what the main character is feeling. We reviewed this book in April for our Read with us Wednesday post, both kids really enjoy this book and it brings about great conversations! You can check out our review here.

The author of this story, Michael Cascio has a pretty great story about the meaning behind this book as well that I urge you all to check out here.

Purchase Your Copy Here!


Discussing with older readers the importance of reaching out to a trusted adult when they are feeling scared or unsure about something is something that should be done often. This story leads you into a great conversation where you can discuss fears as a family. This story is also an account of a child’s fear which can inspire them to write their own story about something that may be fearful of. Take it a step further! This story is actually a poem, have your child write a poem about something that frightens them. No pressure on how well written the poem is if they can’t or don’t want to write have them say their thoughts to you, while you jot it down. They can also draw a fun picture of what they are afraid of.


The free printable can be downloaded here, a reminder please do not share the file’s direct link, please share this blog post. If you are not already a Blooming Brilliant Insider, make sure to , to get access to our library of resources.

For my printables, I like to print on card stock, because it makes it super sturdy for reusable use. To add even more sturdiness and make them reusable I like to laminate the materials. Laminating them or putting them into pouches or even page protectors let you be able to use dry erase markers or crayons.

Monster Craft

What you need:
Cardboard tube (from toilet paper, and paper towels)

Using Monsters to help build early learning skills, reading extension activities inspired by story When I Was a Child I Was Always Afraid.What to do:

  1. First, cut the cardboard tubes into various sizes for the family.
  2. Then, paint each of the tubes.
  3. Once all the paint dried, press down the top of the tubes to make monster horns.
  4. Next, attach the googly eyes, get creative!
  5. Last, use markers to draw on a mouth, you may also take a ribbon and put them in little bows on the monster’s horns, and use cotton balls to make fur, you can have a lot of fun with it if you use your imagination!

Watch and Create:


Music really engages kids. I find that my kids absolutely adore music, especially my youngest. Want to add music to your tiny tots reading club lesson? Here are a couple of our picks. Let us know your favorites in the comment section below.

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Using Monsters to help build early learning skills, reading extension activities inspired by story When I Was a Child I Was Always Afraid.

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