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

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Review: Monsters

Monsters is a stunning publication, made more so by award winning book designer Sandra Nobes who has  designed all Anna Fienberg’s and Kim Gamble’s work, plus the exquisite, Small Things by Mel Tregonning. 

This is a special book in more ways than one. It was begun by Kim Gamble, and completed by his friend, Stephen Axelsen after Kim’s passing.

Tildy sees monsters at sunset and by moonlight. No one can help her with her fears for others can’t see anything. Not Aunt Beetle who as a world traveller, has returned with masks from Africa and scorpions from Egypt, nor any of her twenty-three cousins.

Tildy sleeps with one eye open. Nothing can remove her fear.

Hendrick, a new boy at school, is put next to Tildy. He draws and draws – monsters! He believes they exist, but has no fear of the ugly squirmy things.

When a friendship is formed between the two children, Tildy is invited for a sleepover in the tent in the yard. She scans the area for the horrid monsters. But there they are again, everywhere, hiding within the banksias and trees.

Can Hendrick show Tildy how to overcome her fears? Or will her imaginings continue to get in the way of everything good?

Brilliant prose is aligned with divine illustrations and a strong message about facing our fears regardless of age, and exposing them for what they really are.

This is an excellent book for adults and teachers to use to initiate discussion with children who have fears of any kind. The glorious illustrations will serve as fine visual examples to question and explore emotions and feelings of insecurity that arouse fear in the young and why. Fans of Tashi, young and old, will welcome this treasure to their library; the last creation of a great talent that gave the world such joy through his work.

Title: Monsters
Author: Anna Fienberg
Illustrator: Kim Gamble and Stephen Axelsen
Publisher: Allen & Unwin, $24.99
Publication Date: 23 May 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760293369
For ages: 5+
Type: Picture Book