The New LiBEARian


You may know, or not know, that I work in a children’s library. A job I’m very proud to do and love with all my heart. Much earlier in the year I saw the cover of this book The New LiBEARian by written by Alison Donald, illustrated by Alex Willmore and published by Maverick Arts Publishing I was pretty desperate to get my book nerd hands on it! Particularly as one little boy who comes into my library regularly refers to us as “Libearians”.

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More Impossible Tales


A Few months ago I reviewed a self published title. Not something I, or many bloggers, often do (rightly or wrongly), but Eric Appleby: Zero to Hero written by Dan Worsley is good, really really good and as Book Monsters is about recommending great books it deserved a place on the site. You can read the review here:
– Eric Appleby Book Monster Review

As a result of thoroughly enjoying Eric and becoming a fully fledged member of Team Eric I read Impossible Tales which is a collection of short stories also by Dan and also absolutely wonderful. And now, after a lot of hard work by Dan Worsley we welcome onto the bookshelves More Impossible Tales!

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A Gift for National Book Lover’s Day


So, apparently, August 9th is National Book Lover’s Day!

I’ve loved books for a very long time. Pretty much all of my 35 years in fact. Though I think I developed a real love of reading when a primary school teacher said to my Mum that I wasn’t reading enough (!!!). Well,I just took that as a challenge and I spent a summer, down in Plymouth, with the help of my Grandma, reading everything I could get my hands on, just to prove this teacher wrong! I loved books before then, but after, well, the literary flood gates opened.

I remember fondly as a teenager entering into the world of “grown up” books, how great it felt to read Of Mice and Men my first adult book and then the love of my life, Jane Austen.

Books are a huge part of my life, from reading them, to now, being fortunate enough to work among them all day long in a children’s library, and then come home and blog all about the fantastic ones I get sent from publishers. It’s a life swimming in books, and what a lovely life it is.

In the image above, is a small selection of my top favourite books. It’s quite a mix, from children’s titles, to art and comic books, classics and short stories. It’s all about variety as far as I’m concerned.

Books have given me so much over the years, the gift of emotion, escapism, relaxation, excitement, adventure, empathy and hope! So, to celebrate National Book Lover’s Day, I’m going to give away one of my favourite lovely titles to one lucky reader. You have until midnight tonight to retweet the pinned post from my account @BookMonsterAlly on Twitter, or comment on this blog post. I will message the winner with a choice of my favourite books to pick from and I’ll send it to you, as a gift, from one book lover to another.

What are you waiting for? Go do stuff!!


For the love of Non-Fiction


I am aware, that my blog, as well as many others and media in general, is biased towards fiction books. In some ways, that’s to be expected as the number of fiction releases outweighs the number of non-fiction. However, I am really aware that I’m not appreciating the joys of non-fiction nearly enough here on Book Monsters! They are an absolutely vital part of children’s book publishing.

We have the obvious, homework and extracurricular learning support. Not everything can be covered in schools, by teachers. It’s important children have the opportunity to read non-fiction outside of school in order to develop their knowledge further.

Boys! I don’t like to stereotype boys and girls, as there is certainly not a one rule for each. However, non-fiction is brilliant for boys. Take my brother for example, as a child he wasn’t interested, generally, in reading fiction. He wanted to get something out of reading. He wanted to gain knowledge, for his reading time to be worthwhile and well spent, but he also wanted to be entertained. The Horrible History books provided him with hours of fantastically productive, yet funny, reading. I’ve experienced many similar boys over the years in my work at the library who really thrive on reading non-fiction.

Reluctant readers. Or even children who struggle with their reading, can get a lot from non-fiction. They can be much more accessible, less text heavy and the age range they suit much more wide spanning so children don’t feel self conscious choosing a non-fiction title, like they maybe would reading an ability appropriate fiction book.

In short, our celebration of non-fiction has been woefully lacking. Rarely do I see a non-fiction category in children’s awards, or non-fiction nominated alongside fiction. It’s a huge shame, particularly as 2015 / 2016 has seen some of the greatest factual book releases for a very long time.

So, from here on in, at Book Monster’s HQ, I pledge to fly the flag for the great non-fiction! If you come across something you think deserves to be blogged about, or have released a non-fiction book that you’d like us to review, please feel free to get in touch for my consideration, I would love to get more on here.

I have amassed, thanks to the lovely publishers out there, a collection of some spectacular non-fiction new releases for children, so over the coming weeks, I’m going to be blogging these wonderful titles like crazy. So keep an eye out for those,  and please share.
For the love of non-fiction! :)

Thank you.


There are no words …


Welcome to this rather different Book Monster blog today. I’m  going to be looking at the wonderful world of wordless picture books!

I’m a word person, I love words, love talking, love reading, and so I’m going to confess here that wordless picture books didn’t initially attract me, maybe even scared me a little. I was going to need some persuading. However, very recently, in my library, I happened across a few wordless picture books, all published by Walker which turned my head. They were quite beautiful, profound actually. And, so here I am, doing something I didn’t think I’d ever actually do, reviewing 3 wordless picture books!

The 3 books are a series, all illustrated by Aaron Becker and published by Walker. The first is Journey, then Quest, and due for release in but a few days the pinnacle of the three, Return.

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