Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall

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Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Trish Simpson-Davis
Reviewed by Trish Simpson-Davis
Summary: Monsters behaving badly. You're being a monster tonight, will take on a whole new significance after reading this clever and fun book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 28 Date: March 2013
Publisher: Blue Apple Books
ISBN: 978-1609053147

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Some books just become part of the family tradition: this could be one. I really enjoyed this exuberant little picture book, and I expect we’ll all know it off by heart before long.

No-one need be frightened of these beasties, and it’s not a story about conquering fears. Instead, these are miscreant monsters who are put in their places with some very firm guidance. Children will recognise the orders instantly, for parents come out with them in varying tones of tiredness, resignation or irritation on a daily basis. In fact, I have the sneaky feeling that the author is on the side of the adults.

Here’s a book with a positive take on dealing with a young family. Everyone will fall for the knockabout humour, and I don’t think children will realise where they are gently being lead. In between the giggles, children will connect themselves with the naughty monsters and acknowledge that yes, sometimes, they really do behave like naughty monsters themselves.

I loved the cover, with its Polynesian feel. Inside is a crazy, colourful mix of monsters behaving badly: an acrobat, one on a cycle, another showering Smarties around, and even one hanging upside down from the ceiling. Some look more innocent that others. The scene is somewhat reminiscent of walking into a mayhem of screaming toddlers in a playgroup. (You see, a sub-text is already emerging for the adults).

Children are advised to treat the monsters firmly.

If a monster is noisy,
Whisper in its ear
BE QUIET! (Not quite sure how you whisper in caps but that made me chuckle).

They are ordered to chew their food, clean up, sit still and so on. Even the nervous little monster clutching the soft toys has his moment, and is sternly directed to TAKE TURNS!.

A monster at the end of the day seems just as likely as a human kid to indulge in a hissy fit.

If a monster is tired and grumpy,
Send it to bed and say,

So the monsters are individually picked off with tough love, rather like real children in any secure family. Natalie Marshall must have had a lot of fun transferring children’s posturings into the cheeky monsters of her bold illustrations.

Once the children know the script, they’ll love to join in, to boss the monsters around themselves. It’s a very clever step towards self-discipline.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending this book.

Another upside down monster book we loved is Billy Monster's Daymare by Alan Durant and Ross Collins. The aliens love underpants (and associated titles) are also a pretty wild bunch: look out for the series, including Aliens In Underpants Save The World by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort.

Buy Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall at

Buy Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Monster, Be Good! by Natalie Marshall at


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