Duck Gets a Job


Over 10 years ago, I decided to leave a career that I had planned on being in for most of my school life. That was quite a terrifying thing! And one day, I walked in a job interview for THE most perfect job. I bumbled my way nervously through an interview, and thankfully, managed to persuade them to give me the job (not sure how that happened). So, I now work in a children’s library, and I love it! It changed my life for the better in a multitude of ways. THIS is the power of finding your place, and doing a job you enjoy.

Duck Gets a Job, written and illustrated by Sonny Ross and published by Templar Publishing takes a unique look into the world of work through the eyes of a rather anxious duck!

So Duck wants a job. All his friends have one type of job in the city, so he applies for one of those to be like his friends. Poor Duck is scared and anxious about the job, he gets lost on his way to the interview, he’s nervous and worried at the interview, and when he finally gets the job this artistic little fellow is just not happy in a paper pushing role. Duck makes a brave decision to quit and find a job in the creative field he truly loves.

This is a simply written story, few words, but perfectly chosen to carry across the message. So what is the message? Well, there’s bags of them in this little book! It’s a story about embracing yourself, anxiety and confidence, bravery, following your dreams, being happy and never giving up. This plucky, determined little duck struggles through countless worries applying for a job he doesn’t want, but soldiers on through it all, tries and then tries again, until he finds a place he fits and is happy. It’s a really important message to get across to young children.

We are forced, in a fast paced world, to make decisions about our futures from a very young age, and this books shows you can change direction, you can make mistakes, try different things, but most of all, to go for your dreams! It’s a lovely feel good positive message, with a brilliantly humorous slant to it.


This is Sonny Ross’ debut picture book and I am certain it won’t be the last we see of him. The soft dark colour palette chosen for this book is intriguing and unique. The ducks have little in the way of facial expressions, and yet they are FULL of expression in their movements, behaviours and slight changes to the eyes. It’s a style I’m a huge fan of. Less is more.

Duck Gets a Job is the sort of book that children will enjoy the story and illustrations of, and it can certainly launch various discussions about the world of work in a school environment, but it’s also great fun, feelgood and something I’m sure adults will really enjoy reading too!

An original, distinctive story, full of character, with an important message for all the creative souls out there trying to find their perfect place.

Duck Gets a Job is available now from all good bookshops and libraries.

Sonny Ross has his own corner of the internet, do check it out before he becomes so famous you have to get past security!

Thank you for reading this Book Monster review


Build the Dragon


So, sunday afternoon and blogging to catch up on. So, what do I find myself doing? Sprawled on the floor building a dragon of course! All in the name of blogging you understand! Because this was for the book Build the Dragon written by Dugald Steer, illustrated by Jonathan Woodward and Douglas Carrel and published by Templar Publishing.

This is a dual function book, containing a brilliant little non-fiction style guide to dragons, and at the back a model building kit so children can create their very own clockwork dragon. It’s a brilliant way to bring a book to life! To engage children, excite them about what they’re reading. A really fantastic idea that can be taken in many directions into the realms of dinosaurs, mammals, birds, even forms of transport such as planes or space rockets. There’s a lot of scope for a product like this.

I will be honest here, I was a little skeptical about the model itself. I’ve seen things like this before, pieces missing, poor quality, not fitting together properly, over complicated etc etc, all leading to a potentially disappointed child. So, I set to, making this creation, plonked on the floor surrounded by bits, with my dubious head on. BUT, I have to say, I have been proven wrong. All pieces were present and correct. In fact, I was delighted to see duplicates of the slightly more fragiles parts of the model, presumably in case they ripped, which was quite easy to do.

The bulk of the dragon model though, it made up of extra thick card, lovely quality and slotted together perfectly! I went wrong a few times on the instructions, model building is not my forte, yet the pieces were robust enough to take pulling apart and rearranging. I really was so impressed with the quality.


The instructions are really clear, with each of the 46 pieces numbered and illustrations to accompany the guide. It’s not very simple to put together, so I think most children will need support with this from a parent, but I can imagine most parents being even more keen than the children to join in!!! It’s a great way for children and adults to enjoy a book together.

The resulting model, is a strong, stable, large, moving and mechanical dragon! Impressive …I was impressed! His wings flap and his mouth open and closes. Brilliant!

The model has been built, so what about the book? Well, it’s not long (32 pages), but contains tons of little snippets of facts about dragons such as where they live, what magical powers they have, different legends surrounding these mythical creatures and even various anatomical features. All beautifully illustrated and written i short clear paragraphs, making it accessible and fun to read. I particularly liked the final page showing all the different types of dragon, I think any dragon mad child will love learning all these and looking at the beautifully bright illustrations.


This is sadly not a book we could have in the library, because once the model’s built it’s not really the same. However, Build the Dragon would make a superb Christmas or birthday present. Educational value and plenty of FUN value too! There are a lot of children and adults who will be bowled over by this wonderful quality and quirky Dragon book!

Build the Dragon is available now from all good bookshops!

Thanks for reading this mythical Book Monsters review.




BookImages2Welcome to Book Monster’s stop on the Botanicum blog tour, and I’m incredibly excited to review this glorious book and welcome illustrator Katie Scott here for a Q&A, I know! How great is that? So climb aboard the blog train, it’s a happy day!!

Botanicum is curated by Katie Scott and Kathy Willis, published by Big Picture Press in association with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens.

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Cogheart – Kid Lit Readers


So, my final review for my A-Blog-Day-Holiday. It’s been fun! It’s been a challenge. It’s helped me get down an extensive blog pile! This isn’t the end however, there are exciting blog things to come, so watch this space for those!

So, my chosen, final holiday blog. This book was chosen as our read for this month’s @KidLitReaders over on Twitter (monthly online kid lit book group, check us out).

It is Cogheart by Peter Bunzl and published by Usborne.

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Kickstarter Joys


This is a quick post, an intermission I suppose, as it’s not an ordinary book review.

This is about Kickstarter. I’ve back a few projects on Kickstarter over the years, it’s a brilliant way of supporting local, and not so local, individuals and organisations to get their projects off the ground. Projects generally offer various rewards and incentives depending on how much you pledge, which can be as little as £1 up to many many £s! There are levels to suit every budget, and it really all makes a difference.

From a Book Monster’s point of view, there are tons and tons of book themed projects on Kickstarter waiting to be backed by you. I’m going to look at just two of them today.

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The Building Boy


Around this time last year, I sat in the back office of the library where I work, with a friend reading a rather remarkable book, which I promptly shared with her, and then gradually the rest of the library staff, family and most customers!! Yes, I loved it that much! The book was The Bear and the Piano, written and illustrated by David Litchfield. Since then, it has been nominated for our very own Sheffield Children’s Book Award.

A few months later, for our online book group @KidLitReaders, we read Perijee and Me written by Ross Montgomery, with cover illustration by David Litchfield. This book was universally enjoyed by the group, a delightful and special story.

So, to get the to point, the joining together of these two marvels of illustration and storytelling is a very exciting thing! On release day I rushed out and grabbed a copy of The Building Boy, written by Ross Montgomery, illustrated by David Litchfield and published by Faber and Faber ltd.

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Smart about Wild Animals.


So, back to what I promised, and that is some more glorious non-fiction for you! I’m a little late to the party with these two books, but I do think they are completely worth the wait. Flying Eye books are a publisher who have a certain style to their work. Their publications scream quality, with a distinctive retro styling that I have always really rather loved.

Their non-fiction books are eye catching and appealing for children with a look that begs to be read. I’m going to look at two of Flying Eye’s recent animal themed releases today.

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I’ve covered wordless picture books on Book Monsters before in my blog post:
– There are no words …

This was my first dive into the world of wordless books, and something I was a little tentative about. However, I’m coming across more and more of these books at the library and they are taking Twitter by storm. My first twitter post announcing the arrival of the three books I’m going to look at today is probably one of my most shared book related tweets ever! It sparked a huge amount of interest and discussion. Teachers and library staff are recognising the value of books without words, and actually, so am I!

So here are another three fantastic examples!

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