There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

Published: 29th June 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Puffin
Illustrator: Greg Abbott
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

A mischievous monster has invaded the pages of your book!

This read-aloud, interactive picture book treat invites children to make magic happen page by page, tilting, spinning and shaking the book, and then seeing the funny results when each page is turned. A fantastic celebration of all the fun that can be had with a book, with a wonderful wind-down bedtime ending!

I love Fletcher’s books, they are funny and clever, not to mention adorable. Kids will love this book because it is an interactive experience. They can tilt the book, blow on the page and try a range of fun things to try and make the monster leave the book.

The sentences are simple and easy to understand, and I love how the monster, the story, and the illustrations all work together to create the story. Pages that give the illusion of being torn, as well as having the monster ‘peeking through’ make this a brilliant book that plays with the format and the expectations of a picture book.

The monster itself is adorable, Abbot has done a great job because it looks like an identifiable monster and not too scary, more cheeky than anything, something that kids could keep locked in a book and not mind. Abbot’s illustrations reflect Fletcher’s words and as the reader either blows on the page or tilts it per instruction, Abbot’s matched this consequence brilliantly making the monster react accordingly.

This is a fun read that certainly could be read over and over, and enjoyed every time. I think both adults and children will get delight from reading it and every read has the potential to be slightly different depending on how each instruction is interpreted.

You can purchase There’s a Monster in Your Book via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Wordery

Angus & Robertson | Fishpond | QBD

The Book With No Pictures by B. J. Novak

Published: 4th September 2014Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Dial Books
Pages: 48
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

A book with no pictures? 

What could be fun about that?

After all, if a book has no pictures, there’s nothing to look at but the words on the page. 

Words that might make you say silly sounds… In ridiculous voices…

Hey, what kind of book is this, anyway?

I remember reading this book when it first came out and it was revered. I am glad to see it still holds up. It is so clever and it makes reading a fun experience. What I love about this is it highlights the power of formatting and the power the author has when you read. Italicised words are read differently, whether you read it aloud or in your head. Bolded words get an emphasis, big words in bright colours get read out differently and this book is fun to read because of the words and gets enhanced by the formatting.

Having no pictures bring the story focus on the reading experience and especially on the person reading it since the story revels in making them say silly things. It is about how fun words are and is a prime book to be read out to children, (though not unexciting to read in your head either).

You can purchase The Book With No Pictures via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Wordery

Angus & Robertson | Dymocks

Fishpond | QBD

King & King by Linda de Haan

Published: 1st March 2003Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Tricycle Press
Illustrator: Stern Nijland
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Once there lived a lovelorn prince whose mother decreed that he must marry by the end of the summer. So began the search to find the prince’s perfect match and lo and behold……his name was Lee. You are cordially invited to join the merriest, most unexpected wedding of the year. KING & KING is a contemporary tale about finding true love and living happily ever after, sure to woo readers of any age.

The story is simple and to the point. I enjoyed how de Haan didn’t need to explain further about why the prince didn’t want a princess, he just didn’t. This was also something the queen accepted, she just needed the prince married so she count retire as planned. The prince meets with a variety of princesses from around the world which he has no interest in until one princess brings along her brother.

The illustrations aren’t the most pleasing to look at but they do the job. They are creative I will give credit for that and look like they have been compiled from cut out pictures, one page cleverly using what appears to be magazine snippets of a variety of words.

This isn’t a complex book explaining homosexuality to children, there is no long explanation about any of it. What it is though is a story which normalises it and explains that some princes like other princes and as long as he’s happy, everyone is happy.

You can purchase King & King via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Wordery

Angus & Robertson | Dymocks

Fishpond | QBD

Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian

Published: 5th January 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Balzer + Bray
Illustrator: Mike Curato
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 5 Stars

You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm.

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux?

The answer is: It doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves Worm.

This story is beyond adorable and is the perfect book to show kids that love is love no matter what. There are no pronouns, so worm is worm and worm is worm and you don’t know how they identify. The worms are in love and just want to be married but with each new suggestion it becomes more and more complicated. Beetle says they need a best beetle, the bees want to be bride bees, and all of these come with the phrase “That’s how it’s always been done”.

As all the pieces come together and solutions are found for lack of feet for dancing, and no desire to eat cake, the worms can finally be married. This is where Austrian’s story shines and the worms start to change the things that have ‘always been done’. I love this because the innocence of the worms who just want to get married are happy to go along with all their friend’s suggestions, and will do whatever ‘has always been done’ as long as they can get married in the end.

Curato’s illustrations are adorable and simplistic. The animals are on plain white backgrounds which brings the focus back on them with no distractions like an environment around them. The text is simple but to the point, mainly consisting of dialogue between the animals. It is a great way to include information without explaining it as narrative and exploring ideas new and old though the conversations of the animals.

This is a beautifully sweet book about changing how things have always been done and getting to do what you want and how you want it. The amazement of the worms’ friends at their decisions demonstrated beautiful acceptance and the worms’ unfaltering desire to do what they like also shows admirable qualities.

You can purchase Worm Loves Worm via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Wordery

Angus & Robertson | Dymocks

Fishpond | QBD

 

 

Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin

Published: 14th March 2017 Goodreads badge
Publisher:
 Dial Books
Illustrator: Samantha Cotterill
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★  – 3 Stars

Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn’t stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back…or can he? 

This is a fun story that is enjoyable to read and even has a few surprises. It is delightfully silly without going over the top and I loved Charlotte’s sincerity over the whole situation as she treated her rock like any other pet. The writing is simple with one sentence or so covering each issue or moment but Martin tells the story simply but effectively and interestingly.

I actually thought this was going to be a sadder story about poor Charlotte who only had a rock for a pet but I was pleasantly surprised. She treats it like any other pet and while it can cause a few hassles, what pet doesn’t? Her optimism is enchanting and I love that the rock isn’t any normal sized rock but still she carries on.

Cotterill’s illustrations are simple and the colours basic, but I liked the design of Charlotte. She looks like the perfect six year old who wouldn’t mind having a rock as a pet and making the best out of the situation. She is adaptable and will enjoy her pet even if it is a little unconventional. The colour scheme is made of up of washed out red, green, and brown which works remarkably well. It gives an old feel to the book and doesn’t take anything away from the illustrations themselves.

This is a fun book that kids will enjoy reading for the humour and the silly nature is easy to exploit when reading it aloud. It may also give hope to those kids who can’t have the pet that they wished for and instead lets them realise how much fun having a pet rock can be.

You can purchase Charlotte and the Rock via the following

Booktopia | Book Depository

Amazon | Amazon Aust | Wordery

Angus & Robertson | Fishpond

Dymocks | QBD

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