Age range: 4 to 8
The Story: Bernadette appears to be an ordinary monster. She has fangs and claws and she lurches and growls. But underneath it all, Bernadette has a deep, dark secret. She likes to pick flowers and pet kittens and do all sorts of things that aren’t considered monsterly behaviour. When Bernadette starts school, she doesn’t fit in and can’t relate to her classmates who stomp and slobber and act like total monsters. However, she soon she thinks up a plan to win them over while remaining true to herself.
This is a fun, humorous story for boys and girls alike. Tammi Sauer has created a winning character in Bernadette. While Bernadette has pointy ears, blue skin and wears a skull necklace, the reader can’t help but laugh aloud when her behaviour ends up being incongruous to her appearance. This is a character that likes to cause mayhem of all kind, but by the same token enjoys baking cupcakes and sharing group hugs.
Scott Magoon’s illustrations compliment the text perfectly. Like Bernadette, Magoon’s illustrations are mostly monsterly. They contain all the creepy elements one would expect from a monster book—like dark-clothed monsters with horns and multiple eyes standing in menacing poses—mixed with a healthy dose of humour and light colours that brighten the pages and add levity to the situations in which Bernadette finds herself.
This is one book I never tire of reading over and over (and over and over!) to my children. It keeps the entire family laughing and entertained. As a parent, I also appreciate the way the author has tackled the theme of individuality. The book doesn’t come across as heavy-handed yet it sends out a clear message that it is okay to be yourself.
Mostly Monsterly is a great book that’s more-than-mostly marvellous as well as monsterly fun!
About author Rebecca Colby
Rebecca is an American expat living in England who primarily writes picture books and poetry. Before writing for children, Rebecca worked for a Russian comedian, taught English in Taiwan, travelled the world as a tour director and worked as a librarian. Her first book, There was a Wee Lassie who Swallowed a Midgie, comes out on 20th March with Floris Books, Picture Kelpies. Rebecca’s second book, It’s Raining Bats and Frogs, will be published with Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan US) in 2015.