'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 11 September 2010

Review: Monster Maddie

Title: Monster Maddie

Author: Susan Stephenson

Illustrator: K C Snider

Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, US$10.95 RRP

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781616330279

For ages: 3 - 7

Type: Picture Books

About: When Maddie has a rotten first day at school, she becomes a monster, complete with fangs, claws, wild hair and an evil grin. And she's not happy. She puts ants in pants, dirt in shirts and ooze in shoes - and chases kids all over the playground demanding to play.

You can imagine things don't go well for Maddie.

Disheartened, Maddie hides beneath the library building to cry big fat monster tears - but who should arrive to warm her monster heart than a sweet orange kitten, who sees right through the monster in Maddie and becomes her friend.

Outside in the playground with her new fuzzy friend, the other kids soon draw closer and Maddie asks them all to play once again - but this time without the fangs and claws.

Author Stephenson has created a relatable character in Maddie - who shows us we all have the potential to be monsters - and how learning more effective social interaction can make us all shine. The text is rhythmic and the author uses very creative wordage that rolls off the tongue with pleasure and will delight kids.

Reknowned for her passion for children's literature and incredibly creative literacy mind (used for good, not evil!), Stephenson has provided a whopping seven pages of learning activities at the end of the book, making this an ideal in-class reader for teachers keen to teach morals without resorting to finger pointing.

Parents will also enjoy this unexpected added bonus - with ideas on activities before, during and after reading the text - and covering such areas as thinking, predicting, talking, creating, estimating and writing. There's even a playscript for children to act out in their own Monster Maddie play.

I'm delighted to review Susan Stephenson's first published and highly educational book, and I hope to see many more to come.

This book is available online and as an e-book