Review Blog

Dec 18 2012

Monster Matsuri by Cristy Burne

cover image

Takeshita Demons series, bk 3. Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2012. ISBN: 9781847801371. 203 pp.
(Ages: 9-12) This is a great series to recommend to all those younger children who love the idea of anime or manga. Set in London the books focus on Miku whose family recently moved from Japan to England and the supernatural demons (yokai) that exist covertly within the everyday human world. It is relatively easy to pick up the background of the series without reading the prior instalments as we learn in the first chapter that Miku and her friends Alex and Cait are now well versed in dealing with and defeating demons and they show us early on that not all demons are evil, in fact some are good and some are just strange. When Miku's younger brother is kidnapped - again - the three friends must follow the clues and venture through the invisible wall into the House of the Demons. Things get stranger and stranger as they get closer and closer to Kazu. But why has Kazu been kidnapped again and why do all these demons know Miku's name? If only her grandmother had explained more. If only her father would tell her what he knew.
This is definitely not a book to hand to young children who are easily spooked. Long, probing tongues and demons whose heads fly around looking for children to eat are just some of the spooky, horrible things that will be encountered on a Takeshita Demons adventure. It is probably useful to note however that in this book at least there are no real gruesome or violent occurrences, just the idea or prospect of its happening. In the back of the book there is one page of factual information on Japanese Demons and a glossary of the demons featured in Monster Matsuri. This is great fast-paced adventure with some unexpected twists and turns, a dash of humour, great character development and some really spooky moments! There are sparse manga-style illustrations that add wonderfully to the overall mood of the story.
Nicole Smith-Forrest

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