Review Blog

Sep 23 2015

The little shop of monsters by R L Stine

cover image

Ill. by Marc Brown. Hachette, 2015. ISBN 9780316348522
(Age: 5+) Horror. Humour. Monsters. Two children enter the little shop of monsters and are taken for a tour of the monsters that reside there. Each is deliciously illustrated in soft shades, but with something which differentiates each from the others. The first monster encountered is the Snacker, who snacks all day long, littering his enclosure. The children are warned not to get too close as the thing he loves to snack on most is hands. The next two monsters are unnamed but children will love to work out their names using the hideous pictures and the facts that their names rhyme with jetty and pinky. Then there are the monsters called Yucky and Mucky, Squeeze and Teaser, Sleeper and so on, until the last page is reached and the children warned about the monsters, not that the children will choose a monster, but often the monster chooses you.
A fun story to read aloud and ponder over the illustrations, this book will be a welcome addition to a school library. The funny tale turns on its head at the end, after encouraging the readers to use words differently, use rhymes to understand what the name of the monster might be, and then look closely at the illustrations which reveal more, then look at again.
My favourite is Sneezy and you will need to look at the double page illustrating this monster to get the full effect of his name and why he is so named.
R L Stine gained notoriety some years ago as the author of the highly popular Goosebumps series, which some parents and teachers loved to hate, but not so the readers, as they sold 400 million copies worldwide.
Fran Knight

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