Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith

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Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Monty may be the biggest scaredy-cat this side of Hairy Maclary and chums, but he's got brave Bella to help him through his fears. A Hairy, Scary Night is a great read for anyone trying to overcome fears of their own.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2009
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0340959831

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Bella and Monty are best friends. They love doing everything together. Unfortunately, Monty is petrified of absolutely everything, but thankfully Bella is as brave as brave can be and will help her friend overcome his fears.

Being frightened is a common theme in picture books, but A Hairy, Scary Night has a fresh style that adds an extra layer of charm. Bella weaves a number of funny stories about what the scary things really are, and these draw the reader in with their quirkiness. Alex T Smith's illustrations accentuate this quirkiness and make every page a delight to pore over.

As fun as it is in its own right, A Hairy, Scary Night also works wonderfully for children who are dealing with their own fears. Monty's long list of fears will be a mix of things that make perfect sense to be scared of, like monsters, spiders and gloves, but also things that they have no reason to be scared of, like scrambled eggs. It's a perfect opportunity to discuss what things scare different people (hopefully not seeding any new fears) and to make up fun stories to explain anything that scares them.

A Hairy, Scary Night reminded me of a recent favourite: Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall. Both feature one brave character and one scaredy cat, both have a delightful twist in the tail, and both are great fun. Despite their similarities, they're not too samey and will sit happily on any bookshelf together. Both are heartily recommended.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Other than Jumpy Jack, the best choice for further reading is One More Hug For Nutmeg by Caroline Jayne Church. There are lessons to be learnt from it, but it's still a strong story in its own right. Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman is also worth a look if you're dealing with any fears.

Booklists.jpg Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith is in the Top Ten Picture Books For Overcoming Bedtime Woes.
Buy Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Bella and Monty: A Hairy, Scary Night by Alex T Smith at Amazon.com.


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