My Mummy is a Monster
By Natalie Reeves Billing
Illustrated by Lisa Williams
Rated: 5 stars *****
Vibrant, funny and a great interactive plot is contained within My Mummy is a Monster, which I have a been invited to present a review for. Thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to review and to Natalie Reeves Billing for sending me the book and a lovely letter on the most fun writing paper (it has fun children’s sweets in pretty colours around it). Find out more about the author and the book and what I really thought about it, below.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.
Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020
Connect with Natalie on Twitter @BillingReeves.
The Monstrous Me series is a split perspective book looking at situations from another point of view to help children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this first book, ‘My Mummy’s a Monster’ an inquisitive little girl is convinced her mum is a monster. But, is she really? When we look through her mummy’s eyes, we see a very different story.
Can you find the 7 Monstrometers hidden throughout the story. Are you a monster or is your mummy a monster? This delightful split perspective book invites you to find out. It has 2 parts to the story. Part 1 is the daughter and son reckoning their mummy is a monster and that lots of mummies have monsters hiding inside of them, especially when they suddenly turn into monsters just before 8:45am and try to comb their children’s hair and get them to brush their teeth and walk to school and shock horror, gleefully makes them walk to school. The story is something children will find, along with the colourful illustrations that support the story, just so funny! The book then invites children to draw their mummy monster in the monstrometer. Please don’t do this if the book doesn’t belong to you. The monstrometer would be easy to copy and draw onto paper.
On the flip-side, mummies see their children as monsters too and maybe even granny can see. Everything is flipped to how it is when children scream they don’t want their hair brushed and kick up a fuss over teeth brushing, all making mummy late for work and when they don’t want to go shopping and mummy is just tired.
There’s a monstometer at the end to draw themselves being the monster.
Both parts endearingly end with love.
This book is a fun story, but is also one that can open conversations about how things are sometimes and to show each other the challenges, but also that children love their parents and parents love their children really. It’s a great book for promoting wellbeing and understanding of behaviours at certain times and for developing a well-rounded, empathetic human.
There are some great activities that support this story on http://www.lollipoplodge.com
I have a paperback, linear copy, but the author has informed me that there is a hardback copy where your child can have fun actually flipping the book over when it comes to part 2 to continue with the story. I’d say that the physical act of doing this goes to serve children well in re-enforcing the stories message of their being 2 sides to the story.
Also check out your local independent bookshops too.
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