What happens when we bury our feelings and problems instead of addressing them? My Monster Ate My Homework is the story of a boy named Leo who doesn’t know how to deal with the hard things in his life. In an attempt to get rid of these problems, he feeds them to his pet monster, Burdy. Leo has to learn that working through his problems with a friend is a much better solution than burying them inside.
I wrote and illustrated this book for parents, teachers, and guardians to facilitate meaningful discussions on mental health topics with their students. This book is meant to be read aloud by an adult to their student. A discussion guide in the back provides an opportunity for families to talk about healthy habits for emotional healing, building trust and confidence the child will take with them throughout life.
This book and its characters went through so many iterations before becoming the final. The images here are a glimpse at some of the concepts and designs that did not make it into the final story.
I think I went through four versions of a story before finally landing on the one you'll read. Pieces of each version have been preserved into the final and it's a combination of whimsy and moral that I was trying to achieve. That was the hardest part. How do you make this a fun story, but one that also has incredibly deep and important meaning?
Below are some sample spreads, supplementary illustration work, and an interactive flip through of the final story. Enjoy!
COVID-19 made this discussion about our kid's feelings even more important. How we lived our lives was being changed. No school. No playdates. In light of everyone staying home, I created a virtual reading to give parents and their kids something productive to do together while at home.