Sir Stan the Bogeyman by Author Stacie Morrell teaches much about character and consequences through the actions and behavior of a young duke who we read is “selfish, rude, arrogant and mean.”
One day the young nobleman’s negative attitude is directed at the wrong person. The Queen! By accident, he yells at the royal majesty and it turns out to be one of his worst mistakes ever. As a result of his unacceptable behavior, the Queen decides to have the boy cursed and hires a witch to get the job done, taking away the young dukes noble and prestigious identity, downgrading him to someone no one will ever want to be around – again! The boogeyman! Wow. From a duke to one who dwells in the closet and under beds? This punishment, curse and startling transformation shocks us all as we take a second to imagine ourselves in the young boy’s shoes.
Now, elderly, pale and a stranger in the town, everyone around despises him, looking down on him, appalled by his cold appearance. Desperate to get back into the comfortableness of his own body, he pleads with the Queen to help free him of this wretched curse, but magic is never that easy to reverse.
The Queen denies the trapped, vexed soul in the same way she indirectly helps him; by exposing the secret to rid the curse once and for all. So, in the middle of the night, Sir Stan the Bogeyman makes an unexpected ghostly appearance in a child’s bedroom, sending her into a terrible shock! But to her surprise, this uninvited house-ghost is wearing a bright, pleasant smile, and she isn’t sure if it’s for better or worst.
Courageous and brave-hearted, the young girl momentarily resists the feeling of fear and manages to ask who the strange phantom is, only to learn her worst nightmare is true; she is face-to-face with a real ghost! And like a true brave-heart, she accepts her fate until the unusually amiable specter reassures her that she has nothing to fear. This is the kindest, most thoughtful boogeyman we’ve ever read of! If only all “boogeyman” tales were this way!
Rather than try and harm or hurt the young one, he instead uses this opportunity to finally tell a listening ear the truth about who he is…and who he was! And boy, did he choose the perfect person to tell! A Fledgling and innocent, the young girl, unlike majority of the people who immediately deny him, is willing to not only listen to Sir Stan the Boogeyman’s story, but also empathize and feel sympathy for him and all his suffering. So with faith and an open-mind she tells him “…tell me the truth, it seems you’re sincere,” changing the hopeless boogeyman’s life, forever. Was it for better or worse?
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This book possesses a wonderful fairy-tale-like nature that is appropriate, charming and edifying to a children’s audience, and adults, providing a comprehensive example of negative behavioral traits such as arrogance, rudeness and hostility, comparing them to positive ones like kindness, politeness and respect. This gives our reading audience much to discuss when it comes to personalities and attitudes, ultimately inspiring children to do good, be good and understand that there are consequences in the world for bad, unacceptable behavior. Another valuable, timeless lesson we all take from this story is the costly price of mistakes.
Just like the young duke, in many instances we have life laid out for us and still find ways to underappreciate and devalue the things and people in our lives, similarly to the duke. Morrell’s enlightening ingenuity reminds children that nothing is promised, not even our lives. So if you don’t have to make the mistake, don’t.
Parents and children will truly enjoy this story, and so did we! Fantastic work, Stacie!
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