Oh I do love a traditional tale! Goldilocks, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood. They are one of our most long standing and most loved forms of stories, and recognisable by most children from a pretty early age. One of my favourite books to read to classes is the Three Little Pigs (or variations of) as children love to join in shouting out the well known sayings in the book as loud as they can! A great way to wake up a sleepy library.

We are now at a stage where modern stories are incorporating the traditional, adding a new twist to them, and giving teachers some brilliant learning materials too. Fum, written by Karl Newson, illustrated by Lucy Fleming and published by Maverick Arts Publishing is one such title.

This follows a giant family. Literally, giants, well, all but one of them! Fum is teeny tiny and very easily lost. When he goes missing one day, the giant Crumb family head off through a series of well loved traditional tales in search of him.

This is a really very gorgeously sweet book ideal for young children. Karl Newson is the master of rhyme. I’ve been following his ditties on Twitter for quite some time, and I’ve come across few writers able to play with rhyme quite so effectively. The words flow beautifully, making his poetry and books an absolute pleasure to read out loud.

There is a lot of opportunity to use the text in this book for role play with children, getting them to act out the different family members and characters, so an ideal book to use in schools, particularly for the traditional tales topic.


Lucy Fleming’s illustrations in Fum are the perfect accompaniment to Karl’s wonderful words. They’re big, bright and beautiful. The gorgeous colour and texture here helps the images jump off the page and bring the characters to life. Lucy has succeeded in injecting a sense of scale of the giant Crumb family brilliantly well, yet the family retain an endearing quality.

On each page, little Fum is hidden somewhere, which gives added interest for children and something to allow them to directly interact with the book. Children will love racing to spot little Fum and then identify the various fairy tales hidden within the pages. Containing just the right level of detail, the illustrations are perfectly eye catching and engaging for younger readers. I’m really a big fan.

I think Fum is just a little gem of a picture book. A fantastically fun search and find, packed full of great characters. Young children will adore this book. It’s bold and hugely entertaining, just a bundle of fun (and fum) from start to finish!!

Fum is out now and available from all good book shops and libraries.

One person not missing is Mr Karl Newson, he can be found right here:
– http://karlnewson.com

And oh look! I found Lucy Fleming too, right here:
– http://www.lucyflemingillustrations.com

Thank you for reading my Book Monster Review.


Sleep Well Siba & Saba


Lantana Publishing are an independent publishing company who specialise in producing great quality diverse children’s books. Their wonderful tagline being “Because all children deserve to see themselves in the books they read.” sums up what they do incredibly well.

I am a big fan of their books, and have others to feature soon on Book Monsters, but I needed to post about this little gem as soon as I was able, because it’s really quite beautiful.

This is Sleep Well Siba & Saba written by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdahl and illustrated Sandra Van Doorn.

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Captain Falsebeard in A Wild Goose Chase


Aah haaarrr!!! Welcome ye buckaneers to a very piratey Book Monster blog. Last year I reviewed the first in the brilliant Captain Falsebeard series of books, which you can read right here: Captain Falsebeard in a Very Fishy Tale

I was then, lucky enough, to be sent the sequel to that book Captain Falsebeard in a Wild Goose Chase written and illustrated by Fred Blunt and published by Puffin.

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The Joys of Writing!


Book Monsters is generally all about the books, where would we be without books? We wouldn’t have such a great opportunity to escape into other worlds, to learn, to share, to improve our vocabulary and develop our imaginations!!

In truth, where would be without authors? Or writers? We would be bookless!! Oh my!!
So, we need fantastic organisations, projects and teachers to nurture writers and writing skills and our authors of the future.

At Book Monsters HQ this week, I was fortunate enough to interact with two such writing inspirations!

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Lost Magic – The Very Best of Brian Moses


I’m a big fan of poetry, for young and old, and we are fortunate enough to have some fantastic and talented poets around to inspire and entertain children and adults. One such poet is the fantastic Brian Moses who has been writing poetry incredibly successfully for many years. I was very fortunate that Brian offered to send me a copy of his latest anthology Lost Magic The Very Best of Brian Moses, Cover illustration by Ed Boxall and inside illustrations by Chris Garbutt and published by Macmillan Children’s Books.

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I Love You (nearly always)


I’m going to just dive right in here, I adored, really really adored Anna Llenas’s book The Colour Monster which I reviewed here: http://bookmonsters.info/blog/2016/07/17/the-colour-monster
It is a delightful, collage based book, about feelings and emotions, so I cannot begin to explain my joy at opening my latest book post I Love You (nearly always) written and illustrated by Anna Llenas and published by Templar.

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