Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne

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Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Silliness abounds in a tale of monsters doing all the things that children aren't supposed to do. Light-hearted fun for young schoolchildren.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: July 2010
Publisher: Lion Hudson
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0745961675

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At the University of Vile, monsters get up to all sorts of monstrous things. Mischief, rudeness and naughtiness are required for educational success. If you're not picking your nose and making a racket, you're for the high jump, missy. Then, one day, two monsters get themselves into a dilly of a pickle when they fall down a hole. They couldn't possibly... (whisper it) co-operate... to get out, could they?

A school of naughtiness will immediately win every young reader over. It's great fun seeing the monsters doing everything that kids aren't usually allowed to do, and doing so with such gusto. This is a wild and crazy picture book, with plenty of action and excitement at every turn. Making the case for co-operation steps back from this delightful anarchy a little, but by this time there's already been so much vileness that your own little monsters will happily go along for the ride.

There's a strong sense of rhythm and rhyme throughout, which helps keep the pace up. Some of the rhymes are a little stiff, but no worse than the average picture book, really. There's no back-tracking required, which is a definite bonus. The writing is crisp and direct, with an accessible vocabulary for any picture book fan. The subject matter pitches it at those in the first year or two of school, or at least aware of its existence, but younger children won't feel left out.

Sarah Horne's illustrations are suitably gruesome and monstrous. Much like her previous work in Rhino? What Rhino?, she's got an opportunity to really let her hair done, which she's more than done. It's all very cartoony and comic, marrying perfectly with the subject matter. Every page is packed with detail and rewards exploring. Bags of energy, bags of life, bags of silliness. Great stuff!

Vile is the sort of picture book that kids love. The message almost feels a little unnecessary, but doesn't spoil anything. It's a bit of light-hearted craziness to get you giggling, and is well-worth a look.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

For another example of monsters flipping things on their heads, check out Billy Monster's Daymare by Alan Durant and Ross Collins. For another Beano-esque school cartoon cum picture book, check out The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman and David Roberts. For wide-eyed craziness, look no further than Mr Chicken Goes To Paris by Leigh Hobbs.

Buy Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Vile - A Cautionary Tale For Little Monsters by Mark Robinson and Sarah Horne at Amazon.com.


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