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I've really been neglecting this blog! I've been creating a couple of funny Alien characters every week over on my social media links. I've created postcards, posters and birthday cards with them as well.
If you want to be up to date on my new projects and regular doses of deep space denizens then head here-
Mischievous, witty and playful, Nibbles: The Book Monster by Emma Yarlett (@EmmaYarlett_) is one of the most enjoyable picture books to read aloud I’ve come across in a long time. Indeed, it’s the sort of book that makes you want to go in for kidnapping small children if you don’t have any to hand.
Nibbles is a rather cute looking yellow ball full of energy with wide open eyes and a big smile. But don’t be deceived. He’s actually a monster. And a monster with a voracious appetite at that. He’ll eat anything and everything, but most of all he loves to gobble his way through books.
With each turn of the page we try desperately to catch up with Nibbles as he munches his way through fairy stories, surprising the characters inside along the way, and causing us readers to giggle and squeal with glee at the chaos he leaves behind him. Can we readers save the day and stop all this destruction? Will we be quick enough to capture Nibbles before he swallows all our favourite stories?
A reader’s delight, the energy and naughtiness of Nibbles will also capture the imagination of those who haven’t yet experienced how books can quicken one’s pulse and give so much enjoyment. Pacey and funny, drawing the reader and listener in to become active themselves within the confines of the story Nibbles: The Book Monster is a triumph.
Yarlett’s illustrations are rich, tactile and full of clever details. Fans of David Roberts will especially appreciate Yarlett’s style and patterning, whilst her gorgeous hand-drawn lettering might make you think of Oliver Jeffers’ work. The book as a physical object is gorgeous; full of flaps (surely a loving nod to the classic Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell) and cut-outs to explore, with fine attention paid to every detail from the textured cover to the barcode on the back (it’s definitely one to add to this fun post from 100 Scope Notes about the art of the picture book barcode).
Those who love reading and who happily devour books are often portrayed as “bookish”, quiet or shy but here is a bookworm a book monster full of verve and gumption – a whirlwind of activity showing that having a passion for books can be great fun. A brilliant book to savour, guaranteed to get listeners asking for seconds.
Unsurprisingly, we simply had to create some books we could lick our lips over alongside reading Nibbles: The Book Monster and I wanted to come up with something very simple, that even the kids could manage. We bought some ready-made puff pastry and the girls cut it into equal sized rectangles, placing one on top of the other, before pressing them down together in the middle (we used a skewer for this).
Once cooked (we just followed the instruction on the pastry packet), these rectangles puffed up to look like the pages of an open book. As soon as we took them out of the oven, we pressed down again in the middle, to help create that effect of open pages.
A dusting of icing sugar, a dollop of fresh cream, some strawberries and a special message from Nibbles written with coulis completed our booky treat.
As you’ll see, Nibbles tried to eat our edible books. Once sated Nibbles went to explore our bookshelves:
Can you spot Nibbles? (you can click on the shelves for a larger image to make hunting Nibbles easier).
Once you find Nibbles, do tweet the answer (the title of the book that Nibbles is diving into) using the hashtag #FindNibbles. All correct answers will go into a draw run by the publisher (@littletigeruk) and one person will be chosen to go forward into a prize draw at the end of the week to win their own copy of Nibbles – both toy and book! (If you don’t already follow me on Twitter, I’d love to see you over there – I’m @playbythebook.)
Whilst baking and sharing our edible books with Nibbles we listened to:
Setting up a treasure hunt amongst your books at home, or in the library (inspired by looking for Nibbles amongst his books). Ask the kids to find, say, three books on three different themes – in my house I might ask my girls to find me a dragon book, a ghost story, and a book that would help me find my way amongst the stars. Whatever you choose, it’s a way to get your kids looking through their shelves, perhaps re-acquainting themselves with long lost favourites. Once they’ve found their books, get the kids to set you a book treasure hunt!
Surprising yourselves by reading a new fairy story or folk tale. Choose a new anthology at the library and pick a title of a story you don’t know. What discoveries could await you? Perhaps you could all enjoy illustrating a scene from the story you discover.
So, it looks like October is going to be pretty terrifying this year. Yesterday, DC announced that they’d be giving 25 of their books “Monstrous” variants.
Today, Marvel announced that they would be offering “Kirby Monster Variants” for their titles. They’ve hired talented artists such as Paul Pope, Cliff Chiang, Mike Del Mundo, and Jeff Lemire to pay homage to the legendary Jack Kirby, whose imaginative monsters inspired a generation of artists. Comicbook.com revealed some of the covers earlier today.
Awesome Android by Erica Henderson (Doctor Strange #1)
Groot by Mike Allred (Guardians of the Galaxy #1)
Rommbu by Eric Powell (Karnak #1)
Infant Terrible by Paolo Rivera (Amazing Spider-Man #2)
Check out the full list of covers below:
The Crawling Creature (Tales to Astonish #22)
All-New, All-Different Avengers #0
Devil Dinosaur (Devil Dinosaur #1)
All-New, All-Different Point One #1
Nezarr, the Calculator (Eternals #7)
Amazing Spider-Man #2
Infant Terrible (Fantastic Four #24)
Scarlet Beetle (Tales to Astonish #39)
Captain America: White #3
Jinni Demon (Thor #137)
Contest of Champions #1
Xemnu the Titan (Journey Into Mystery #62)
Doctor Strange #1
Awesome Android (Fantastic Four #15)
Extraordinary X-Men #2
Yeti (Black Panther #5)
Quonian (Fantastic Four #97)
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Groot (Tales to Astonish #13)
Civil War #5
Lo-Karr, Bringer of Doom (Journey Into Mystery #75)
In breaking with my world tour of literature from Down Under to Italy, I decided on a good, ole-fashioned monster book that doesn't even take place in this world...much, Always October by Bruce Coville.
Admittedly, it would seem this has a Fall slant to it, but no!, Always October is another world, a world inhabited solely by monsters who arise from human nightmares. Ghoulish, right?
But no! not ghoulish, not entirely. The monsters are actually nice, some of them anyway.
Basic Plot: A baby is abandoned on Jacob's doorstep with a note asking that someone take care of it. Jacob and his mom take said baby in. He's sweet and adorable so they name him Little Dumpling. But alas, when the moon is full, Dumpling turns into a full-fledged monster.
Methinks Coville has spent many an hour with small children.
As it turns out, Little Dumpling isn't just your run of the mill abandoned on the doorstep monster-baby. He is actually the savior of the world of monsters and humans, and there are monsters out to get him. Jacob and his friend, Lily, must travel (are first chased, actually) to Always October, world of monsters, in an attempt to save Dumpling from the bad guys, only to discover they have to cross back into the world of humans and hide Dumpling to keep Always October and the human world from total annihilation. The journey there and back again is a monster-style Candy Land with a River of Doom and Bridge of Doom and Veil of Tears and Queen of Sorrow and CliffHouse.
The action and fast-moving plot aren't what made me choose this book for my review, though (or the need for a good horror read during the doldrums of summer!). It is Coville's use of alternating first person POV between Lily and Jacob. I was excited to find a middle grade with alternating POV. I'd tried the trick before myself, and I was eager to see what someone with Coville's writing chops had done comparatively.
To keep the characters and POV separate, each chapter is labeled (Jacob), (Lily), (Jacob), etc underneath the chapter title. Coville gives Lily a quirky metaphoric vocabulary with a decidedly B-horror movie bent, while Jacob has physical quirks, e.g. he has to tap the wall three times when going upstairs, or he taps his fingers against his thumb to calm down. It's a pretty ingenious approach, connecting with expressive trends within this middle grade age group.
Nevertheless, I found myself flipping back to the front of the chapter to remind myself who was narrating, and I began to wonder why. Why does alternating POV work seemingly so much more easily in YA vs. MG? I came up with a couple of possible reasons: 1) the dual characters in YA, as in this MG, tend to divide up along gender lines, but in the YA case, love enters into the dynamic, and so we readers get two different viewpoints on love. 2) It helps that in the dual YA I've read, somebody usually is turning into, say, a werewolf, or other monster. The human/monster dichotomy goes a long way in keeping characters separate. 3) I've also read adult lit with alternating POV when both characters are of the same gender. Usually, in that case, age tends to differentiate characters and their views of the world are thus seen through the lens of more or less life experience.
Despite these de facto differences that may make it easier to write more distinctly different older protagonists, I still believe alternating POV can work better in middle grade. I'd love to hear from anyone who has read Always October and whether they had the same experience, or if you've got a suggestion for a middle grade title in which the alternating POV worked well. I'm on the hunt!
Jolly Fish Press has acquired my middle-grade fantasy series Monster or Die and will be publishing the first book, From the Grave, in Fall 2016. Editor TJ da Roza fell in love with my wacky and wonderful monsters with his first read—and who wouldn’t.
Frightful and fun.
Delightful and deadly.
These creatures bring a whole new meaning to monster.
Be sure to follow along the journey to publication. With monsters in charge, most anything might happen.
J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt (Children’s Poet Laureates, past and present) Illustrated by MinaLima (Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima) Chronicle Books 4/1/2015 978-1-4521-1895-6 40 pages Ages 7+
“What beast stalks the dim northern forests? What horror tunnels under the sands of the desert? What monster lies in wait beneath murky lake water?
“Bigfoot, the Mongolian Death Worm, the Loch Ness Monster—these and many more creatures lurk within these pages. Are they animals yet discovered? Are they figments of imagination? Only eerie whispers and sinister rumors give us hints at the truth.
“Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis (2011-2013) and Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt (2013-2015) team up to offer a tour of the creatures of shadowy myth and fearsome legend—the enticing, the humorous, and the strange.”
“CRYPTOZOOLOGY is the study of hidden animals, or those whose real existence has not yet been proven.”
Have you ever wondered about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or any other cryptid? If so, then this interesting picture book is for you, regardless of age. Is this nonfiction or fiction? That will depend on whether you believe any of these extremely unusual creatures are real, or from the imagination.
I do love the layout of the book. Reading feels like a world tour of the odd. You must look everywhere to find the poems: missing posters, park signs, classified ads, and on plastic bottles stuck in the mud of a swamp. Immediately, you will realize an ingenious poet—uh, two ingenious poets—wrote Bigfoot is Missing .
Kids will enjoy this book, especially if they like the weird and unusual. The illustrations are colorful renderings of the cryptid’s home, be it park, ocean, or roaming the United States. Despite the subject matter, not a single scary page or poem exists in this kid-friendly picture book. Bigfoot is Missing is a great choice for April Poetry Month. For those unsure what to believe, the authors included a short descriptive history of each creature. Chronicle Books offers a teacher’s guide, in line with several common core areas.*
Purchase Bigfoot is Missing at Amazon—B&N—Book Depository—Chronicle Books. Learn more about Bigfoot is MissingHERE.(check it out!) x Meet the former Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, at his website: http://www.jpatricklewis.com/ Meet the current Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, at his website: http://www.poetry4kids.com/ Meet the illustrators, MinaLima, at their website: http://www.minalima.com/ Find more picture books that are wonderful at the Chronicle Books website: http://www.chroniclebooks.com/ x *“Correlates to Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration, 2-5.2; Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas, 2-5.4, 2-5.5; Reading Standards for Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, 2-5.7” (from Chronicle Books Poetry Picture Books teacher’s guide) X x
It’s interesting to me how some ideas take time to marinate, while others click right away. The Halloween Circus concept came late last year after the Quest For The Ore Crystals. The story concept was entirely different at the time. After a while, the project went to the back burner until recently. Out of nowhere the genie hit me on the head and I scripted the first draft of Halloween Circus.
One of the fun parts for me is the creation of the cover of a new project. Who knows if this cover will stick or not, but it was enjoyable to work on. Check out the time-lapse video below and let me know your thoughts. Ciao.
Natasha remembers little from her Russian childhood, other than the lingering nightmares of her mother’s tragic death. So when someone close to her hands her a one-way ticket to Russia, along with the deed to her family farm, and then is brutally murdered, she has little confidence about what awaits her in that distant land.
With doubt and uncertainty, Natasha has no choice but to leave her life in America for an unknown future. Once overseas, the terrifying facts as to why she was really summoned home come to light.
Fact one: Monsters do exist. Fact two: The only thing keeping those monsters out of the world is an ancient mural hidden below her family’s farm. Fact three: The mural that keeps the evil out of the world is falling apart. The final fact: It’s up to Natasha to restore it and save the world from a horror unlike anything seen before.
Luckily, Natasha isn’t alone in her mission. Three Russian Knights are tasked with protecting her from the demons as she restores the mural. And leading the Knights is the handsome and strong Anatoly, who seems to be everything Natasha could hope for in a man. Unfortunately, there is one huge problem. Her Knights are forbidden from having relationships with the artists they protect, and Anatoly is a hardcore rule follower. But rules cannot stop the way she feels.
When a horrifying demon breaches the barrier and pulls Anatoly inside the mural, Natasha can’t help but charge, once again, into the unknown—this time to save the man she secretly loves. Now on the demons’ turf, she risks her own life to free the very one who is supposed to be protecting her. Little does she realize that if she should fail, it could mean the destruction of the very last barrier shielding mankind. Will Anatoly refuse Natasha’s help? Or will he finally realize, when love is at stake, the rules will be broken.
“Herbert Sugary-Sherburt has just finished his magnificent chocolate rock masterpiece. When he gets home from work, there is a big disaster at the chocolate factory. How did it start raining hundreds and thousands in Thornton? And how on earth did the Sugary-Sherburts get involved? Kit and Kat are on the case. Will they be able to save the families and their homes in time?”
“A long time ago in a very frosty village called Thornton, there lived a family called the Sugary-Sherburts.”
The Sherburt family lived in a small village supported by one industry, chocolate. Herbert Sherburt worked at the chocolate factory in the village. One day, after constructing a gigantic ball of chocolate, Hebert strolled home. Later that evening, a commotion started outdoors and ended with the huge chocolate ball Herbert had made at work ramming through the front of his house. With half of the house was gone, Mom Charlotte needed to think of a solution because the kids (Kit, 6 and Kat, 7), could not get to sleep until the house was fixed. She sent her children out to collect as much candy as they could carry, which Charlotte used the candy to rebuild their home. Everything was fantastic . . . until cold Thornton became unexpectedly warm.
“There is nothing worse than being ordinary. At least, according to seven-year-old Joey Jones. When Joey gets picked not first, not last, but right in the middle for playing dodgeball at school, he feels unspecial and unwanted. But through an encounter with a certain monster who has been hiding in his bedroom all along, Joey learns that everyone, including Thing, is special in their own way.”
“The kids of Mrs. Larson’s second grade class were splitting up into dodgeball teams that day on the playground.”
Seven-year-old Joey finds himself picked just before Sheldon—“Smell-don” chosen last—for a game of dodgeball at school. Joey wanted to be first choice and that thought had him tossing and turning in his hammock that night. Joey loved his new hammock. He could see everywhere, even under. Then came the noises.
“Thump. Thump. Thump.”
As Joey watches, the moonlight turned into The Thing. Thing is not a scary monster despite his seven eyes and extra-large fangs, but Joey doesn’t yet know this. He runs for the door tripping on a toy instead. Thing tells Joey he had a bloody knee and then scoops him up. Joey bites down hard on Thing’s arm upsetting the monster, who was afraid Joey wanted to eat him. Joey tells Thing to go home tp his family. Thing tells Joey Things do not have families.
“As a Thing, you are just like every other Thing.”
Thing sadly says he is nothing special but Joey protests saying Thing was the only Thing living in his bedroom.
Ladybug Girl and Her Mama by Jacky Davis & illustrated by David Soman Ladybug Girl loves her mama, and can’t wait to spend the day with her. They plant flowers in the garden, share a special lunch, and enjoy a favorite movie. Together-time has never been so sweet. Just right for Mother’s Day! My …
Book: Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone Trilogy, Book 3)
Author: Laini Taylor
Age Range: 13 and up
Dreams of Gods & Monsters is the final books in Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. (See my reviews of Book 1 and Book 2). If you have read the previous books, you will certainly wish to read Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I think that it wraps up the series in a quite satisfactory manner, while leaving the door open for other books set in the same world.
As in all of Laini's books, the prose in Dreams of Gods and Monsters is rich and evocative, particularly when addressing love and longing. The characters are so fully developed that even when they surprise you, you find their change/growth consistent. The world-building in this series is very strong, with this third book in particular making the history of Eretz (and Earth as conceived by Laini) more clear. The plot is full of twists and surprises, including a character newly introduced in the final book who plays a pivotal role.
I will confess that I had to put this book aside about half-way through, and read something else. The characters were facing so much suffering that I needed a break. But once I came back to Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I read eagerly to the end, and was pleased by the interweaving of plot strands as well as the personal resolution for Karou.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes (though in truth one could open this book at random and find something lyrical and worth quoting on nearly every page):
"Out of betrayal and desperation, amid hostile beasts and invading angels and a deception that felt like an explosion waiting to happen, somehow, here was a beginning." (Page 30, Karou)
"So much to rue, but to what end? All unlived lives cancel one another out. She had nothing but now. The clothes on her back, the blood in her veins, and the promise made by her comrades. If only they would keep it." (Page 110, Karou)
""My wife likes to say that the mind is a palace with room for many guest. Perhaps the butler takes care to install the delegates of Science in a different wing from the emissaries of Faith, lest they take up arguing in the passages."" (Page 274, a Professor of Science)
"No one would understand it, but who cares? She'd just glare at them until they went away. That worked in almost any situation." (Page 419, Zuze)
Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a must-read conclusion to the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. If you haven't read the first two books, and you enjoy fantasy novels with strong characters (particularly strong female characters) and lavish world-building, you are in for a treat. Gather up all three books, and immerse yourself in Laini Taylor's world of angels and monsters, battles and resurrections, suffering and love.
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (@LBKids)
Publication Date: April 8, 2014
Source of Book: Purchased it on Kindle
FTC Required Disclosure:
This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
“In this silly bedtime story, it’s time for bed, and Monster needs to go to sleep. But he just keeps finding more things to stay awake for! It isn’t until Monster admits he is afraid of the dark that he finds a glowing solution to his nightmare problem. In this playful, rhyming story, Monster shows kids that with a little help from a friend, the dark isn’t so scary after all. The Monster & Me™ series helps kids build character, social, and emotional learning skills through entertaining and memorable real life situations”
“Monster needs to get his sleep. It’s time to go to bed. But when I said it’s sleepy time, he roared, “Let’s play instead!”
Interview with Boy and Monster. If you have not read this, it is worth checking out! Click HERE.
In the first book in the Monster & Me™ series, Monster Needs a Costume, it is Halloween and Monster cannot decide what to wear. He tries on several costumes, all of which are great for Monster, but none of which he wants. In the long awaited follow-up, Monster Needs His Sleep, Monster simply needs to go to sleep. Boy must be exhausted after caring for Monster all day, but he has one more thing to do before tomorrow can arrive: get Monster in bed and asleep.
Monster is stubborn and strong—not to mention large—and knows how to get his way. But Monster is also a kind-hearted soul who loves Boy. Monster is really not a monster at all. Just like most two-year-olds, Monster is a sweet creature that sometimes jumps into his monster disguise. Do these excuses sound familiar: I’m still playing; one more story; I need a snack; I need a drink? Yup, kids will identify with Monster. Boy does a good job of moving Monster along, in much the same way parent’s move their little ones to bed and sleep.
The illustrations are fantastic with oodles of details to delight your child—and you! The rhyming story is fun to read aloud. The words leave your tongue as if they were meant to slid off and amuse your child. The rhyming will help hold kids’ attention while they enjoy this silly story and time with you. Monster and Boy are a great team and Boy a wonderful monster-parent. Monster Needs His Sleep is the perfect bedtime story to help your child close his or her eyes and fall fast asleep dreaming of their own Monster.
COMING SOON!Monster Needs a Christmas Tree, September, 2014.
by Chase and Davon Washington & Ana-Gabriela Stroe, illustrator
Bedford House Books 2014
Age 4 to 8 34 pages
“It takes a lifetime to build a reputation, but only a second to lose it. Why is it that we are so quick to judge before giving people (or monsters in this case) the benefit of the doubt? There is nothing that feels more wonderful than being recognized for all of your hard work. However, when that recognition does not come, does it make the task a hand any less important? Sometimes the very thing that we are scared to encounter can be the thing that moves us forward. Facing a fear can mean the difference between failure and success. With that in mind, we thought that a good place to start would be with the wrongfully accused “Boogeyman.”
“A long time ago, someone called me the Boogeyman, the name stuck. Maybe I should take the time to formally introduce myself . . . I’m Jack the Boogey.”
Jack the Boogey, protector of children’s sleep, is a monster. Yes, monsters haunt children by living under their beds, hiding out in closets, and maybe even tickling them and then hiding when the child wakes up afraid of the dark. Those monsters are afraid of Jack the Boogey. Jack is the night patrolman who keeps children’s dreams from becoming nightmares. Nasty monsters do not like Jack. Jack ruins all of their nighttime fun. So what is a scary monster to do? Unionize.
One fateful night, Jack the Boogey was hiding in a closet waiting for monsters to shoo away, when a bad monster showed up. Jack pounced on the monster, but there were more, many more. The monsters were waiting for Jack, and they had a plan. Instead of running, the monsters turned on the bedroom lights, screamed, and then ran. The two children awoke, saw Jack, and then they screamed. Jack tried to explain, but it was useless. Jack the Boogey was now Jack the Boogeyman.
The next day, the two frightened kids told their friends all about the monster Jack the Boogeyman, their friends told their friends, those friends told their friends, and now friends are telling their friends and will until there are no friends left to tell that Jack, is the Boogeyman. From that night on, while monsters ruined kids’ sweet dreams, Jack stayed home in bed, depressed. Would Jack ever return to protect his charges? Will monsters continue to harass children, scare them silly, and make them scream until they can no longer utter a sound? How many more nights will children make parents look into closets and under beds looking for the elusive monsters?
The Boogeyman. Definition:an imaginary monster that causes fear, especially in children; regarded as hateful, evil, or frightening; an imaginary evil creature used in stories for frightening children.
Jack the Boogey is NOT the Boogeyman. Monsters maliciously maligned dear Jack. They wanted him out. As in gone. Permanently. They settled for inflicting anguishing mental pain that so debilitated Jack that he became bedridden and depressed. Yes, some monsters are very frightening. Jack is not one of them. Not many know about boogies, nor how they protect children and adults. I did not know. Nor did I know that a gang of marauding monsters had bullied Jack. Yet they did. Kids will enjoy learning of Jack the Boogie.
The illustrations of Jack and the monsters look cartoonish. Best not to scare children. The monsters do not look as scary as many of them are. Again, best for children. Jack the Boogey-man is a pale blue little guy with rosy cheeks, bright white eyes with small pin-point pupils, and two purple horns atop his head. Before the attack, Jack wore a constant smile that radiated from rosy check to rosy cheek. He looked like a janitor with his key ring hanging off his belt. If he ever wore pants and bent down, well, you get the picture. Jack was harmless except toward monsters. The real monsters that tear apart sweet dreams, hide under beds, and cause mayhem.
The one negative is the end pages. Instead of adhered to the inside front and back covers, they flap in the air as additional pages. Poor planning in the constructions phase.
Jack’s story is difficult to believe, but kids will immediately understand and empathize with Jack. Bullies are the same, be they in a schoolyard or in a dark bedroom, late at night. The monsters easily fooled the frightened children who immediately told their friends to be careful. Of course, as time went on, the story of Jack the Boogeyman became embellished, and now hoards of children and adults are afraid of boogies, the very monster sent to protect them from monsters. It is a shame really, but the story needed told.
There is a redemptive moment for Jack. He misses the quiet breathing of sleeping children and hates the sound of their screams. Eventually he decides protecting youngsters—and some of us older kids—is more important that his bruised ego and returns to duty, much to the distress of many really scary monsters. Jack puts others before himself, does the right thing, and deflates his bruised ego. The monsters, who had become arrogant, once again run from boogies like Jack.
Jack the Boogey is My Real Name is the debut children’s book for both authors and illustrator. The story is imaginative but a bit wordy, yet easy to read aloud. It will become a nighttime favorite. Right before parents drop to their knees for an under-the-bed monster check. Jack has a mission statement and an official wallet identification card. He is the real deal of imaginary monsters. You’ll never see him as he protects you, but he is there. Young children going through the monster phase may feel comforted when reading about Jack and his protection skills. Nothing in the story is scary or nightmare inducing, making it the perfect anti-monster remedy.
Here are two wonderful board books for the youngest kids out there ready to open a book or two. Both are colorful and made me laugh. First up, an appropriate book for the mess my shotty computer has caused.
. . “Monsters are at Plooble School. There’s time for work and play. Monsters make mistakes at times. “I’m sorry” is easy to say.”
“At Pooble School the monsters play. They also learn the words to say.”
The monsters at Plooble School are a fearsome bunch. From one eye to three eyes or no eye at all, these monster will not scare the little reader. Every monster wears a smile and is glad to be at school. The words to learn today are “I’m sorry.”
All the monsters are seated at their desks, except for one. This monster is goofing around, but when he realizes what he is doing, he faces his classmates and says,
“I’m sorry, friends. I’ll calm down.”
I’m sorry is used in many ways.
“I’m so sorry you feel bad.” “Oops, I’m sorry, I forgot that rule.” “I’m sorry, that wasn’t fair.”
What a great way to help young children understand how and why one says, “I’m sorry.” The monsters are funny, kind, and considerate. What wee one does not want to go to school like their big brother or sister? Now, they can go to school at Plooble School with the friendliest monsters seen around books this year. In addition to Monster Knows I’m Sorry, there are three more manner books: MonsterKnows Excuse Me,Monster Knows Please and Thank You, and Monster Knows Table Manners. Each book is colorful and uses fun situations to help little children understand the concept of that particular book. I really like this series. I think kids will like the series and may just learn some manners faster than they might otherwise learn them.
But we are not done. No, not yet. Now we have the biggest beast know to man—the elephant. Meet Eddie and Ellie.
. . “Eddie and Ellie are good friends. But sometimes, Eddie and Ellie can’t stop arguing. You see, everything that Eddie likes . . . Ellie likes the opposite!”
“This is Eddie the Elephant. And this is Ellie the Elephant. Eddie and Ellie love animals! But they can never agree which ones are best.”
Eddie and Ellie are the cutest elephants you will ever see anywhere. I love their big white curious eyes and the green bow atop Ellie’s head. Eddie and Ellie are so adorable a stuffed toy companion of each would be irresistible to hugs. Oh, who would not enjoy a “real” Eddie and Ellie sitting on their bed ready to show them some terrific animals? If only they could agree!
Eddie likes BIG animals like white polar bears. But Ellie likes SMALL animals like lizards. (I’ll go with Eddie on this one.) Poor Ellie is cross-eyed watching the lizard crawl up her long trunk. Yuck! Some kids will love it and it is funny to see. Eddie likes HEAVY animals like the rhinoceros, but Ellie likes LIGHT animals like the lemur. (I’m with Ellie, light is best for a pet.) Back and forth, these two elephants compare their likes to one another. One likes DIRTY animals while the other likes CLEAN animals. One likes animals that live in COLD places and the other likes animals that live in HOT places. (Hot, definitely wins.)
Kids will get more than a few animals to admire while Eddie and Ellie counter each other. By book’s end, young children should understand the concept of opposites. Young kids will love Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites. They never argue, just compare their likes to the other’s likes. Eddie and Ellie smile, stand up on two legs raising their arms in excitement, and seem to have a good time with the other animals. Ellie rides a hippo and Eddie admires the long neck of a giraffe. Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites is another cute board book from Heinemann Raintree/Capstone.
.Now, off with you. Go get your own Eddie and Ellie’s Opposites and of course Monsters Knows I’m Sorry. Go on. They are waiting for you. Don’t keep monsters waiting. Those elephants will remember how fast you came for them. Now, shoo!
This new title, Big Bad Bubble is by picture book power duo Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri. They are known for Dragons Love Tacos and Secret Pizza Party. The cover grabs your attention right away with a yellow monster with sharp teeth falling over at the sight of a tiny bubble. They reader learns that bubbles do not disappear when they pop. Instead they reappear in La La Land where monsters live. The monsters are terrified of bubbles. One monster is most frightened of all and thinks the bubbles will kill them. However, all the monsters soon learn the joy of bubbles. This fun story will have the attention of young readers who have faced a fear and they will be delighted at the end when the monsters learn to face the fear and love bubbles.
Children will want to play with all sorts of bubbles after reading this title. Check out the book trailer below and order your copy today.
Sorry for the extreme lack of blog posts and news on here. I've been very busy with lots of projects- including my first book as author. I usually just post quick news to my Facebook Page and Twitter. So feel free to follow me there, but I'll try to blog news more often. Lots of good monstery mayhem coming up!
The new George Brown , Class Clown book came out way back in August but it's Halloween themed, so I thought it was the right time to post about it. The brilliantly titled- Burp or Treat... Smell my Feet! is a double book Super Special and full of spooky and silly mischief from GB and his pals.
And to conclude Monster Week '14, here's some preliminary art from my upcoming picture book, MARILYN'S MONSTER by the great Michelle Knudsen and published by the extraordinary Candlewick Press. Coming to a bookstore near you in MARCH 2015!
John Birmingham delivers in spades in the first book of his explosive new trilogy. Dave Hooper is not your typical hero. In fact he is a bit of an arsehole. He works on the oil rigs and blows most of his pay packet on booze, drugs and women much to the ire of his very-soon-to-be […]