Meet Monster: The first big monster book
Ellen Blance & Ann Cook, illus. Quentin Blake. New York: The New York Review of Books, hb 978 1 6813 7428 4, 2020, £10.99, 160pp.
Illustrated book, fiction, 4-8 years
Monster has an adventure in the city, where he looks for a house and friends. He eventually finds a lady monster before sharing magical moments with a group of children and an umbrella on a hot sunny day.
An unusually extensive book for young readers of one hundred and sixty pages in length, with fabulous tales told unconventionally from conversations the authors had with children. The story is written in language one might hear a child say, which gives a new and added dimension to six tales, all based around ‘monster’. Each page contains a very short sentence or two and the text is complemented and moves forward through the beautiful images known to us as quintessentially Quentin Blake’s.
There is a whole gamut of emotions from happiness to sadness and to dancing with joy that the monster shares with a little boy before ultimately meeting the lady monster and after.
This is a beautiful book of tales children might share with adults, rather than the other way round. It has a wonderful innocence about it that is only enhanced by Blake’s beautiful drawings.
Review by Karenanne Knight