This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story!

This Book is NOT a Bedtime Story!
Eoin McLaughlin and Robert Starling
Pavilion Children’s Books

Whether or not you choose to believe the title of this book clutched by the red monster on its cover, or the sign held by the little frog is up to you. Best to read it to yourself before making up your mind, rather than plunging in and sharing it with little ones before you tuck them in.

Speaking in rhyme the chief monster narrator insists from the outset ‘It’s scary, strange / and rather gory. ‘ … as he attempts to convince frog, rabbit and deer of his and his fellow monsters’ intention to consume them in a dark forest,

before heading off to look for other scary possibilities – a haunted house; a ghostly galleon afloat on shark-infested waters;

a cave full of bats – oops the bats have gone AWOL!

Still however, the only ones that seem convinced of the monsters’ mega-ghastliness are the monsters themselves; but they might just have one more scare up their sleeves, or rather, furry arms. Will this one work and allow them to prove themselves to frog et al? I wonder …

Robert Starling’s mock scary scenes of the would-be terrifying beasties and those they’re attempting to put the frighteners on, are hilarious; and there are some deliciously funny words spoken by bit part players such as the mouse ‘trying to get on with my knitting’, the spider in the cave, and the exchange between rabbit and one monster beside the cooking pot.

The whole enterprise might or might not be a story for bedtime, but it’s most certainly one to share with youngsters. They’ll relish it, as will adult readers aloud, and the former will more than likely demand immediate re-reads.

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