Jun 13, 2013

Monster Books, for kids

Book Review
(Daddy reads)

When it comes to the School Holidays, books will the last thing on the monkies' radar. But when books come in such colourful forms with attention-grabbing titles to match, that certainly piqued their interest.

The kind people at Ethos Books sent us three book titles penned by local author Adeline Foo. If the name rings a bell, that's because she is also the brain behind the bestselling The Diary Of Amos Lee and The Whoopie Lee Diaries series of books. In fact, you can check out the entire list of children's books she had written HERE.

So back to the books on hand.

Ash picked up Monsters on the Wall first and here is the brief synopsis:

Kai-Kai is afraid to sleep at night. He sees monsters from shadows dancing across his wall! A giant lizard, a tarantula, a python and a large flying insect! What’s next? Is he going to be eaten? Now what Kai-Kai doesn’t know is that he has a secret protector in the night, a little princess who loves him very much. Be touched by the friendship between a boy and his princess as they battle to keep monsters at bay.

Ayd zoomed in on The Thing Under my Bed, and this was what it is all about:

Buster loves snacking just before bedtime. Take a peek under his bed and you’d find crumbs, discarded wrappers and half-eaten bits of food. One night, Buster hears strange noises from under his bed! A stomach growling, fingers drumming, feet scratching and a tongue sloshing! Is there really a monster on the prowl for food? Is Buster safe?

Both books had the underlying theme of being afraid to sleep alone at night, due to the fear of Monsters lurking in the bedroom. Monsters on the Wall has a more swash-buckling style to the story, where the boy ends up becoming the hero and wanting to protect his pet from the so-called monsters. The Thing Under my Bed has a more light-hearted feel - I love the cutesy artwork by the way - and educates the reader on how the 'strange' noises that one hears at night are actually not related to any monsters.

The final book, Chilli Padi, had us reading it together:

Puteh has a new friend, Itam, a kitchen help adopted by her grandmother. The two children find themselves in trouble when they get into a fight in the kitchen. Itam is punished for Puteh’s misdeed. Read about how Puteh redeems herself with her new friend by using the magic of her beaded slippers. A tale of friendship and loyalty, join Puteh and Itam on the first of their kitchen exploits and discover a unique side of the Peranakans through their food heritage.

I felt that the story was a little disjointed for younger readers, with me having to explain what the 'real magic' of the beaded slippers was. But overall, it is a good way to introduce Peranakan culture to the kids, with ample Peranakan information included in the back pages of the book

The boys certainly did enjoy the books. In fact, I caught them reading it for a second time a few days later!

Don't mind Ale though. She was just perfecting her impersonating technique.


Monsters on the Wall (S$13.50), The Thing Under my Bed (S$13.50) and Chilli Padi (S$9.90) are available at all major bookstores.

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