There are some incredible picture books published recently and as a huge picture book fan, I have spent happy hours perusing the following titles. Tonight is the first in a series of 3 posts on the books.

Tonight I have chosen “monsters”, whether in the title, the illustrations or the characters. It’s a bit of a stretch but I am going for it anyway!

Written by Alison Page, Illustrated by Paddy Donnelly
Published 3 October by Tiny Tree Books

This arrived today, I had pre-ordered it after seeing it on Twitter. I love fairytales (see earlier post on Tales) and this was so appealing. Having read it this afternoon I realised it is so much more than I thought. I was expecting a simple story but this is a rhyming, dark and twisted tale, reminiscent of Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes.

Mrs M’Grady is a proper fairytale villain, a monster of the town and planner of dastardly deeds towards the fairytale characters. I must admit I love a villain and this old lady is one of the slyest around. Intent on capturing Little Red Riding Hood, she sets her plan into action, “she booted the girl up the bum with her favourite boots,”.

Luckily Jack, from the Beanstalk, catches wind of the plan and gathers many of our favourites to help him save Red! The story follows his plan and there are some surprises, twists and turns.

“When she fell on the floor, she’d hit her head, and it must’ve caused some kind of glitch.” Nice Mrs M’Grady? Does the story end here?

Buy this one now to find out! I can promise you won’t be disappointed!

Written by Mitch Frost, Illustrated by Daron Parton
Published 3 October, Paperback by Buster Books

When this arrived, my 11 year old snagged it and took it away. I took this as a good sign, followed him and we enjoyed it together. He has the same love of picture books as I do.

This book reads as a manual to ensuring under the bed monsters go away. There are steps to be taken, questions to ask yourself and fun jobs to do before bed. Many of these will also appeal to parents, such as tidying your room, brushing your teeth and telling funny jokes!

The inventive and colourful monsters should make little ones laugh and forget any monsters they may have imagined themselves. A perfect bedtime story and one set to be a firm favourite to be read night after night. I wish this had been around for when I was young. I used to take running leaps onto my bed to avoid the ankle grabbers I was sure lived under my bed…

A funny way to take scary monsters out of bedtime!

Written and Illustrated by Kirsti Beautyman
Published 3 October by Scholastic

Morris the Mist Monster is certainly not scary, menacing or bad. He is the perfect adventuring friend and arrives in Penny’s life at just the right moment. Having moved to a new home, and without Mum, Penny is feeling sad and unsure. The mist rolls in and there he is! Their first adventure is to catch Penny’s dog Peanut who has stolen Mum’s explorer hat.

The illustrations of their adventure are stunning, colourful and heart warming. Morris is good and kind and this is wonderfully clear from the portrayal of him. When the next morning is bright and sunny, Penny misses Morris.

Luckily, a friend is just over the fence and we can hope for a misty morning when Morris can come back!

Perhaps my favourite illustration from the book.

A story about new beginnings, new friendships and new adventures! This is one to savour!

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