Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Monsters are afraid of the Moon by Marjane Satrapi and translated by Jill Davies (Bloomsbury Publishing PLC)

Marjane Satrapi's books and graphic novels are mind-blowing in concept and design, so it was really great to discover her gem of a children's book nestling in the library stacks.

"Monsters are afraid of the Moon" starts off with three rather nasty monsters and a poor little girl. These monsters are not cuddly, they're not in the least bit friendly and they're making Marie's life an absolute misery. Every time she settles down to sleep, the monsters wake her up, pull her hair, mess up her bed and are generally horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE!

Marie is at her wits end, so she comes up with a rather clever plan to solve her problem. She grabs a giant net and kidnaps the moon!

With the moon safely glowing in the corner of her room, the monsters are kept at bay - because Monsters only come out when it's pitch black.

Naturally stealing the moon has an impact on everyone else. Soon the neighbourhood cats are ending up in casualty as they stumble around and bump into each other without the moonlight to guide them.

Marie doesn't know what to do, but the king of the cats comes up with a genius solution!

We won't ruin the end for you, but this fairly rare book is an absolute delight (despite a bit of a scary start). Marie is brave and it's actually a refreshing change to have monsters acting monstrously in a book.

Sublime stuff, seek it out if you can. Like all Marjane's books, it's fantastic.

Charlotte's best bit: Even though they're scary and nasty, Charlotte STILL likes the monsters.

Daddy's favourite bit: Marjane Satrapi brings her graphic novel expertise to bear with some brilliant artwork and tense storytelling, all in the space of a few pages. A masterpiece!