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.

Pop-up books are not always conducive to a library environment, the fragility of them means they rarely last beyond a couple of borrows. However, and this is a big however, they are a  fantastically interactive and exciting way to engage children, young and old, in books and reading. So I use them for storytimes where I can, and think they are great things to have at home where you can read them one on one with a child. And what a brilliant way of teaching children to treat books with love, care and respect.

I Love You tells the story of Roly the woodlouse and Rita the firefly. They are, as you can imagine, completely different to each other. This is why they like each other, but it also leads to a lot of conflict and annoyance. But, we see the two work together, compromise and accept their differences to let love blossom! It’s a really lovely and important concept.

When it comes to love, we often say “They have a lot in common” or “They are the perfect match”. But sometimes, it’s not the case, sometimes couples and people in general are different. I Love You identifies the kinds of differences that can exist and also the negative effects they can potentially have on a relationship. But it also shows how these differences can be worked through. That with a bit of compromise and understanding, they need not be a problem in any relationship, be it between friends or partners. That they can actually be celebrated!


Anna Llenas’s illustrations are created in a paper and card collage effect, brightly coloured and so 3D it’s often hard to tell which parts are pop-up and which are flat to the page. Such a clever, unique and gorgeous style to look at. The pop-ups in this book are BIG! They literally burst out from the book, making a wonderful impact and bringing the book to life. Some of the pages also have little interactive pulls and tabs, which children will love playing with, and it allows them to feel involved in the storytelling process, a very important thing, and very helpful for parents who may not feel so comfortable of confident involving their children in books. The ability to easily share a story is provided right here.

I Love You (nearly always) teaches children the valuable lesson of acceptance and compromise. Recognising that we aren’t all the same, but it doesn’t mean we can’t get on, or love someone. It’s simply and clearly done so even the youngest child should understand the message, and every child will just love and enjoy the gorgeous story and illustrations provided here. I was blown away by this wonderful book.

I Love You (nearly always) is available to purchase from all good bookshops now. And will be getting read at one of my Sheffield Library story times very very soon (do come along)!

Anna Llenas has a very beautiful website right here:
– http://www.annallenas.com

Thank you for reading this love-filled Book Monster review.


As Nice as Pie


I believe that one of the most important traits in humans is kindness. What better method to start to instill this into children is through picture books. They are a powerful form of communication and education and if done in an engaging and fun way, can help children build important skills and knowledge for their future selves.

As Nice as Pie written by Gary Sheppard, illustrated by Tim Budgen and published by Maverick Arts Publishing achieves exactly this.

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There has recently been a resurgence and reinvention of some much loved classic children’s books, specifically for adults as gifts. The Ladybird books and now Famous Five. Brilliant gifts, that adults can identify with and enjoy.

Mum … created by Morty Sey and Scott Chegg is a read for children first and foremost, but, the special thing about this little picture book is what a brilliant gift for adults it would make.

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The Ammuchi Puchi


A while ago, I was contacted by a publishing company through instagram, and asked to take a look at two of their recent picture book releases. This is what I love about social media, it connects people and organisations with common interests, who may never have crossed paths, and, this particular instance of it, I’m very grateful for, as I now have two beautiful books to share with you (The Tigon and the Liger will be coming soon to the blog!).

The first, however, is The Ammuchi Puchi, written by Sharanya Manivannan, illustrated by Nerina Canzi and published by Lantana Publishing.

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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!

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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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