Posts Tagged ‘Monsters’

Daddy Monster ABC by Diana Neild, illus. Emily Walker. Pub. Onetree House, 2020

October 8, 2020 Comments off

ABC picture books are a unique art form. This one is superb because it uses the letters of the alphabet to rhyme and tell the story.

“X, Y, way up high…. me and Monster in the sky”

Father chases boy around the house using a teddy disguised as a monster, on his way to bed. The enjoyment is evident and the ending is safe and assured for the boy.

The illustrations enhance the fun and the text which highlights two or three letters per page.

One of the best alphabet books I have read. For pre school and juniors. great read-a-loud.

The Yark by Bertrand Santini, Illus. Laurent Gapaillard

February 19, 2018 Comments off

yarkThe Yark by Bertrand Santini, Illus. Laurent Gapaillard. Pub. Gecko press, 2018.

I have always believed that a little fear in children’s lives is not a bad thing as long as it is done in areas like literature, in cinema or the Arts. This brilliant short novel fits the bill like no other.

Of all the various Monsters that teem upon the face of the earth, the Human species is the most widespread. There is another, though, more rare, less known. It is the Yark” This is the first paragraph of the novel and it whets the appetite.

We learn that the Yark loves eating children but only good children. He has a delicate stomach and cannot eat bad children who lie, bully or are spoilt. They taste foul and give him indigestion. Unfortunately the World is full of such children and it is hard to find a delicious good child.

The Yark goes hunting for one using Father Xmas’s list of good children. Through this he meets Madeleine and the meeting will change him for ever. Aww!

Easy to read and a great read-a-loud for juniors and middle school readers.

The story is brilliantly supported by Laurent Gapaillard’s pen and ink Victorian-gothic illustrations. The Yark is a superb creation.

This is a five star work, don’t miss it. Adults will smile knowingly.

Valensteins by Ethan Long.

December 24, 2017 Comments off

valensteinsValensteins by Ethan Long. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Fran the ogre is making pink hearts on Valentines Day, but who are they for and why is he doing it? Could it be love? What is love anyway?

When Fran is caught making the pink hearts Vladimir the vampire speculates that they are pink butts much to the hilarity of the other ghouls. Then a witch surmises that Fran is in love. Eewww! cry all his friends.

An embarrassed Fran  puts up with their taunts of feeling Mushy Mushy and kissing on the lips but who is the recipient of Fran’s feelings?

Read the rest and find out who and learn that love is a feeling in the heart. Awww!

Great illustrations especially the eyes of the characters that show where their feelings and motives are.

First Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd.

October 10, 2017 Comments off

skeleton schoolFirst Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd. Pub. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2017.

Deep in the dark forest, lurking amongst the trees there is a creepy night-time school for  spooky girls and boys. Are you one of them?

It is a school like the one you go to, except it is for ghouls, monsters, skeletons, werewolves and other spooky creatures. There is a sign in the boys toilet saying No Wee Wees out the Window, and you are not allowed to do daredevil stunts in the library.

If this is the type of school you would like to go to then read this book or contact the headmaster Mr Bones and you might just get in.

A fun picture book with big colourful illustrations of monstrous things going on and rhyming text. There is even a pair of frilly knickers and a plan of the school for first day pupils.

Check it out.

Hello World by Paul Beavis.

July 14, 2015 Comments off

hello worldHello World by Paul Beavis. Pub. Gecko Press, 2015.

Mrs Mo’s monster has been tamed but his spirit is still lively. He now resides in a tidy attic with a semblance of order while Mr and Mrs Mo are painting the house red.

Monster is still blue with three broken teeth in his mouth and his thin hairy arms still direct play. But he is bored and wants to go on an adventure. Mrs Mo suggests tomorrow so monster loads up his bag and off he goes dropping stuff all along the way like Hansel and Gretel.

Soon he is lost as he tries to find a big hill to climb. Mrs Mo has adopted a motherly concern for monster and in her modest school marmish skirt, blouse and sensible shoes she follows monster picking up his belongings as she goes.

Together they climb the hill, look out on their world and say hello.

Simple yet detailed illustrations and the right amount of written text. My granddaughters loved it and so will you.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Illustrated by Jim Kay

June 27, 2012 Comments off

A Monster Calls by Patrick ness. Illus. Jim Kay. Pub.  Walker Books, 2012.

A novel of raw emotion for your gifted reader at intermediate level and good readers at high school. Adults and young adults will be moved by it.

This is an important story because it carries the truth about us all. We all have fears and sometimes these fears release the monster within. So it is with Conor.

Conor loves his mum but she is very sick. She has lost her hair, gets very tired and is getting weaker by the day. She often stares out the window at the huge Yew tree by the churchyard and this tree becomes the focus of all Conor’s fears about his mother and later offers him hope.

He dreams a dream that scares him to death and he feels strong guilt about it so tells no-one. He bottles it all up inside and becomes invisible at school. This attracts a bully called Harry who Conorallows to bully him because he feels guilt over his secret dream.

At 12.07 one night he dreams that the yew tree turns into a monster and comes to his house. He handles the monster very well and even goads it to come and get him. The monster over time tells him three stories relevant to Conor’s plight and says the last story will be his.

As his mother’s health deteriorates Conor resents the intrusion of his grandmother and the arrival from America of his father. These circumstances release the monster from within Conor and the result makes compelling reading.

The message is positive and clear. Conor must admit and accept what is happening in order to let go.

Stunningly illustrated by Jim Kay’s detailed black and white drawings this is a harrowing novel in parts but exceptional storytelling.

One of the great novels of 2012.

Monster Republic by Ben Norton

Monster Republic by Ben Norton. Pub. Corgi Books, 2010.

This is book one in what promises to be a brilliant action/adventure/science fiction series for reluctant readers particularly boys of Intermediate to Junior secondary level.

I was blown away by the thrilling action and the unique idea.

Dr Lazarus Fry is a monster of a doctor. He is the equivalent of the mad scientist and he is a modern day Frankenstein. He is working on the Trinity Project in which he uses human beings to create his dreams of a super species using animals and technology.

Cameron is a high school student who goes out with the best looking girl in the school. He is the captain of the football team and while visting a nuclear power plant as part of a school trip, a bomb goes off and the next thing he is aware of, he is waking up in a laboratory of Dr Fry, strapped to his bed and a fuzzy feeling in his head and body.

Cameron’s body has been replaced with electronic arms legs etc that are superbly strong, but he still has his original brain. He knows nothing about what’s happened to him.

Then he is broken free from his bed by Rora, a fox looking girl who moves rapidly and who tells him to escape with her. Confused, he follows in a thrilling escape and finds himself with a group called The Monster Republic.

This group are the rejects of all Dr Fry’s experiments and they live beneath the city. They have escaped and formed a close group determined to get revenge on the mad doctor. These rejects are monsters themselves but once they were humans.

I can tell you no more, but the action is brilliant and the climax of this story is nail biting. I can’t wait for book two as there is much to this story left to come.

There is more to this story than the action, it is about how a group works and makes decisions no matter what the composition of  it’s members. Simply a brilliant story.