Monday 16 July 2012

The Monster Machine by Nicola L Robinson (Pavilion Children's Books)

Here at ReadItDaddy we've discussed at length children's fascination with all things spooky and monstrous. Why are monster books so popular with kids? What is it about the slightly scary and unusual that draws them in more immediately than books that feature fluffy little bunnies running lemonade stands for their friends?

One person knows the secret, and she's not telling. Nicola L Robinson's "The Monster Machine" successfully taps into this rich seam of inspiration to produce a children's book that is fun, fantastically detailed and immensely entertaining.

Charlotte's first reaction was (of course) to pick "the monster that is me" (with a little boy as the main 'human' character in the book, her default position was to pick a rather beautiful beaky-toothy striped monster as 'her'). 'The Monster Machine' tells the story of a little boy and his inventor dad. After toiling in his workshop one day, Dad invents a machine that makes monsters (from a rather hilarious and gross list of ingredients that, hey, we all probably have kicking around at home at some point, right?)

The Monster Machine is a resounding success, with whirling gears, pulsating tubes and exquisite saxophone valves for controls. It's extremely effective too, and soon the house is filled with monsters of all shapes and sizes.

What can an ordinary everyday boy and his dad (and their dog) do with a houseful of monsters though? You'll just have to pick up Nicola's book to find out.

It's a real smasher this, with the bold colourful illustrations and entertaining story making it suitable for a wide range of young readers (the monsters are such a happy bunch that even the very youngest readers won't find them monstrous at all!)

Charlotte's best bit: Beaky monster (because she's so cute!)

Daddy's favourite bit: The marvellous, chaotic, steampunky monster machine itself and the glorious list of ingredients that go to make up a monster.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars, Book of the Week

(ReadItDaddy would like to point out that this book was generously supplied by Nicola herself for review. Review copies supplied by publishers / authors are reviewed under our guidelines fairly and basically, what Charlotte says, goes anyway!)