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Posts tagged ‘Monsters’

Monster School

I received this book from the publishers.


By: DC Green

City of Monsters bk 1

Thomas Regus is an endangered species, he is a human in a city of monsters. If he isn’t very careful he will end up as food for any one of various predatory species. The problem is he is feeling trapped. He is net in line for the human throne but he feels he knows nothing about the world in which he lives. So Thomas puts together an outrageous plan to get him out of the castle and learn more all at the same time. He enrols in Monster School, where he meets vampires, zombies, goblins, mummies and giant spiders. It turns out though that he finds out more than he bargained for and sets out on a quest to save what is left of his kingdom.

An adventure story filled with fantastical creatures, backstabbing and loads of greed. Thomas is a character filled with heart and courage, he doesn’t back away from something that may be dangerous if he knows it has to be done. The wacky group of outsiders he teams up with make for interesting companions, some who fight their nature to travel with a human, (monsters are of course bought up to think of humans as food). This is a dark world, as you would expect from one filled with creatures from nightmares but it is tempered with plenty of humour. If you have or know a middle grade readers who love monsters then give this series a try.

Publisher: Ford Street Publishing

Published: 01 October 2013

Format: Paperback

Categories: Horror, Monsters

ISBN 13: 9781925000078

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

The Great Blood Bank Robbery

I received my copy from the publisher

9781922179302By: Andrew Cranna

Under the Earth’s crust live the monsters. In a place called Skull River City something terrible has happened – the city’s entire supply of blood has been stolen from the blood bank. This could mean the end of everything unless it can be tracked down and returned. For Rocky and Vince it’s a little more immediate as their friend has an illness where she needs to have blood every couple of hours, without it she will die. The clock is ticking and  Rocky and Vince decided to investigate. This takes them into the most dangerous place they know – Mosquito Mountain and they will go up against the fearsome Mosquito King. There is more at stake than either of them realise.

This is a fun graphic novel especially for those who like the gorier things of life, like brain burgers and blood shakes. Rocky is a werewolf whose dad is head of security at the blood bank, Vince is a vampire whose scientist dad is missing. The story is tight, the illustrations fun, all in black and white and I can’t decide if the story would be better if it was in colour. There is just enough gore for those who like that stuff and the story is fun and entertaining with a few surprises along the way. At it’s heart is adventure and friendship.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 October 2013

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Graphic Novels

ISBN 13: 9781922179302

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Great Monster Hunt

9781848950238By: Norbert Landa

Illustrated by: Tim Warnes

Duck hears a funny noise early one morning whilst still in bed. Scared she runs outside and tells Pig. As it goes from animal to animal the story of the noise gets scarier and scarier, until they are convinced that Duck has a monster under her bed. Together the friends get prepared to hunt this monster down and save Duck. What they find is not at all what they expected.

I love books by these guys. Landa’s stories are fun and somehow always engaging. There is plenty of action and text to keep the older picture book reader/listener engaged. There are also plenty of sound words to allow for interaction. Warne’s illustrations are expressive and compliment the story so well. This combination of creators never miss.


Publisher: Little Tiger Press

Published: 01 February 2011

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Animal Stories, Monsters, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781848950238

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.


The Gobbledygook is Eating a Book

This copy was sent to me as an ARC by the publisher.By: Justine Clarke and Arthur Baysting

Illustrated By: Tom Jellett

A child is reading when up comes a Gobbledygook. The Gobbledygook is making a mess of the books by eating them. The child tells the Gobbledygook that this is not what we do with books. The child then sets about taking the Gobbledygook on a journey through a wide selection of books.

This is a very simple book with a theme close to my heart, that books are to be devoured, enjoyed and can take you to some amazing places. It finishes up in a great place for parents, with the child tucked up in bed snoring. The illustrations are fun, there are plenty of colours but the general palette is muted rather than jumping off the page with brightness. It certainly has an appeal about it. The more I look at it the more I like it.

Publisher: Viking Australia

Published: 29 October 2012

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Books, Monsters

ISBN 13: 9780670076574

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

I Love You Little Monster

By: Andreae Giles

Illustrated By: Jess Mikhail

It is after bedtime and Small isn’t asleep yet, when Big comes in to take a moment to share with the child that should be sleeping.

This book leapt straight to the top of my highest recommends pile. Firstly Andreae wrote it and has such an excellent way with text (such a great track record as well). Michael’s illustrations are simply adorable. I could share stanza after stanza of these heartfelt words that almost bought a tear to my eye. As a parent you totally feel the same way Big does. Because I can’t not share something with you:

It’s the only sure way to be happy

The only sure way to be free

Believe in yourself and believe in your dreams

And you’ll be what you dream you can be.

Publisher: Orchard Books

Published: 06 September 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Family, Monsters

ISBN 13: 9781408314289

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Great Snortle Hunt

I received this as an ARC from the publisher.By: Claire Freedman

Illustrated By: Kate Hindley

One night Mouse convinces Cat and Dog to go with him up to the scary-creepy house that is on the bumpy-steepy hill. They are on a Snortle hunt. It is dark and creepy and a little bit scary as they make it to the house, and then inside. They climb up the stairs looking for the Snortle but what will they do if they actually find one? More to the point what will the Snortle do to them?

This is a wonderful, spooky little tale about rumours, adventures and courage. Claire Freedman is the author of the Aliens Love Underpants series and brings her wonderful sense of fun (though it is more subtle than the Underpants books) to a new set of characters. The text is simple and rhymes, which children love, and the quantity of text makes it great for younger listeners. Hindley’s illustrations are quirky and expressive. A great book that really isn’t all that scary, especially when you get to the Snortle. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books

Published: 02 August 2012

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Monsters, Fun

ISBN 13: 9780857072627

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Another Rumpus

By: Nick Ward

Rumpus wakes up to find some of his dream has crashed into his world. His friend Jamie joins Rumpus for school. There Jamie proves he is the scariest monster of them all. After school Jamie, Rumpus and Rumpus’s friends play together and have loads of fun. Then Jamie wakes up from his dream and something, or someone has come back with him.

A highly entertaining story about monsters, but not any under the bed. The text is funny and engaging and the illustrations silly and totally appealing. A fun book and not in any way scary, a good choice if you are after something with monsters for the very young.

Publisher: Koala Book Company

Published: 01 December 2009

Format: Paperback 24 pages

Categories: Monsters, Humour

ISBN 13: 9780864619136

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

The Day Louis Got Eaten

By: John Fardell

Louis and his big sister Sarah, are out in the woods one day when things take a turn for the worse. Lois gets eaten by a Gulper. Now this may have been terrible but Sarah knows if she acts fast she can rescue Louis. So she sets off in hot pursuit. Along the way though she comes across other bizarre and hungry creatures.

This is a strange, yet funny adventure about the lengths one sister will go to to rescue her brother. The illustrations are slightly comical, with muted colouring. The text is simple, most pages having only a few lines of text, this makes it quite suitable for younger listeners.

Publisher: Andersen Press Ltd

Published: 02 February 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Monsters, Family

ISBN 13: 9781849393874

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Love Monster

By: Rachel Bright

Everybody loves cute, fluffy things or at least they do in Monster’s world. When Monster is feeling sad because nobody loves him, he sets off to find someone who will. He looks high and low, inside and outside. Eventually Monster was ready to give up, but sometimes when you least expect it, the best things happen.

This is a wonderful picture book about finding love in the most unexpected places. Monster may be a monster but as a reader you are definitely on his side. The text is fun, the illustrations are simple and appealing. This is a warm and fuzzy read.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 05 January 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Picture Books, Monsters, Love

ISBN 13: 9780007445462

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on the side of the page

Book Club December 2011 – Burn Bright

December brings a change of books for the book club and the first new one I am putting forward is

Book: Burn Bright

Series: The Night Creatures

Author: Marianne de Pierres.

Genre: Dark Fantasy


Retra is a Seal – that is she is from the sealed community, a community cut off from those outside it. She is marked as an outcast, a behaviour strip to control some of her actions has been attached to her body. Despite the pain of her actions she is determined to escape. Unlike her brother, Joel, she doesn’t really want to go to Ixion, she has no real desire to party and seek pleasure like the rest of those who choose to go. Ruzalia, is a priate who raids the boats, pulling certain people off them, no-one seems to know why, so getting to Ixion is the first challenge.

For Retra to survive on Ixion she has to put aside all she has ever learnt and find a way to blend in. She needs to start having fun. If she can’t do this she will be withdrawn early and no-one can say exactly what that means. Except perhaps the Ripers, who are the Guardians of Ixion but are they really looking out for everyone or is something much darker going on. Retra doesn’t want to get caught up in the machinations going on under the pretty surface, she just wants to find Joel, if he is still alive. The problem is the dark secrets she stumbles upon mean Retra has some decisions to make. Even if she wanted to stay uninvolved she can’t, she knows too much.

My Initial Thoughts

This is an intricately and darkly woven dance. The layers are well blended, the story compelling. You move silently with Retra as she discovers herself, her strength, and the secrets most seem unwilling to uncover. As she grows from Retra to Naife you know you you have to keep reading to find out what happens next. Retra is accompanied by an eclectic mix of characters that blend well to create the diverse micro-culture that is Ixion.

Did I Like It?

Yes, is the easy answer. I really liked the way the surface and underlying worlds of Ixion played against each other. It’s dark in it’s tone rather than relying on paranormal creatures to make it that way. Don’t get me wrong the creatures add to the tone, they just aren’t the focus. I found the world De Pierres has created to be one that draws you in completely. You get swept up into the hedonism of the moment, the goal of the Baby Bats, even while sensing, through Retra, that things are not quite what they seem. It needs to be added though, the events that pan out don’t seem obvious which is part of the reason you stay drawn in.

The theme in this that really intrigued me is the one of how something can appear one way on the surface, or to one group of people and yet to others something entirely different is going on. This will probably be something I touch on in a later post.

So be brave baby bat and step out into the night. Tell me how it goes for you.

The Rest of the Series

This is the first and the second, Angel Arias was released in the second half of this year. I will try to keep spoilers  out or at least give you spoiler alerts in later posts.

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