Monsters and Other Childish Things
In the small town of Castle Rock, IL, three kids misfit kids band together after making an incredible discovery during their winter break. Penelope Cruze is a nice kid harrased by bullies, but she discovers a new, monstrous friend named Pom Pom after almost drowning. Jarno Laamanen, a tiny, lonely kid from Finland, has one of his favorite dinosaur toys come to life and become Jarrpi, an axe-wielding tyranosaurus. Dylan O’Callaghan, a big geeky kid, befriends a sentient ball of tar named Fluffy after it drips down from his ceiling.
On the first day back from class, the kids find out about each other. Dylan and Penelope meet up on the bus, and introduce their monster friends while Penelope shares a bag of marshmallows. Jarrpi helps Jarno get to school on time by leaping to the front doors, and the other two kids notice Jarno’s monster when he barges into the classroom pretending to be a dinosaur himself.
When Cam Krunckleberg, the class bully, tries to get Jarno to hand over his lunch money, Jarno screams out “Teacher! This kid’s a dick!” Dylan catches the whole thing with his phone’s camera, and their teacher, Mrs. Delone, sends Cam down to the principal’s office. Cam gives Dylan a dirty look before he leaves, though, he’ll surely be back for his revenge later.
The gang ends up sitting together (Jarno just needs to sit with Jarrpi, though) and they find out that one of their classmates, Tanner McKnight, has gone missing over the break. Mrs. Delone tries to keep everything moving along regardless, but she seems pretty broken up about it.
After school, the kids hang out in a field by the edge of town, building forts, having snowball fights, and playing with their monster friends. They see a mysterious black truck stop on the highway for a little while, and Fluffy’s X-Ray vision can’t see what’s inside.
The kids head over to Jarno’s house, where they see his turtle hiding under the deck. “That’s just a rock, dude,” Dylan comments. Jarno just replies with “shut up!” Jarno’s parents aren’t home, but they run into Jarno’s brother HP and his friend Douglas, heading off to record some music. Penelope and Dylan get a chance to see just how Jarno’s family lives. There isn’t much food in the house, and Jarno seems reluctant to be at home unless his mom and dad are out. Eventually, the others have to leave, and they start heading home after wishing Jarno good night. While walking down the street, though, the black truck pulls up behind them, and several men in black suits jump out wielding strange devices and wearing what appear to be night-vision goggles. One of them approaches Dylan and Penelope, holding a briefcase but otherwise unarmed, and introduces himself.
“My name is mrMr. Gray, and it would be wise for you to come with us."