Review Blog

Apr 09 2014

Don't Call Me Sweet by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Angela Rozelaar

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Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9781408838822.
(Age: Pre-school - 6) Recommended. Monsters. Humour. Fear. The little monster believes that he should be called Scary not Sweet, because he likes to stomp around, get covered in mud and become very stinky. He also loves to cook bug eye stew, gets splattered with goo and becomes very slimy. All good reasons to be called Scary and not Sweet. But when he meets an ogre he decides that he not scary, stinky or slimy but rather sweet.
This is a fabulous read aloud for young children. With its alliteration, rhymes and rhythm it is perfect to listen to and there is enough repetition for children to chime in with the refrain, 'Call me Scary . . . Don't call me sweet!' Some of words are in bold upper case letters and these too are perfect for young children to call out with the reader. All of this makes for lots of fun as a bedtime story or for a story for children just becoming independent readers.
The illustrations by Angela Rozelaar are very humorous. Little Monster has one tooth sticking up in his smiley mouth, and one tooth sticking down, giving him a cute appearance which children are sure to love. The drawings add to the story as Little Monster reads a book on how to be scary, and when he makes bug eye stew the bugs are shown in jars, with a terrible mess going on as the stew is made. Every so often the pictures are on a double page spread which the reader has to turn around to look at and this gives variety to the story as well as showing wonderful drawings of the monster.
Little Monster really wants to be taken seriously, especially as all the older monsters want to pat his head and think that he is cute. When he is faced with a bigger monster, the ogre, he has to decide how to get himself out of danger and stand up for himself against the bad, hairy giant.
Sure to become a favourite, Don't call me sweet is a monster tale that is full of fun.
Pat Pledger

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