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BOOK REVIEW: The Amazing Monster DetectoScope by Graeme Base

BOOK REVIEW: The Amazing Monster DetectoScope by Graeme Base

Penguin|Viking
October 2017
Hardcover/Special Format, $29.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book

9/10

When our young canine hero buys his very own Amazing Monster DetectoScope he discovers his house is infested with more monsters than he bargained for – until he finds the courage to confront them.

This whimsical take on facing childhood fears features Graeme’s most intricate paper engineering yet. A whole host of hilariously hideous beasties lie in wait beyond the DetectoScope viewfinder.

A visually gorgeous, funny adventure from the acclaimed creator of Animalia

 

Graeme Base, like Shaun Tan, is known for producing quality picture books, and when word of a new release gets out, you don’t really have to think about whether or not you need it for your collection. Of course you do.

Full of gorgeous illustrations, a great rhythm, and a niftily different format, Base’s new book addresses the idea that there are monsters hiding in the house. Parents and guardians should be aware of the fact that this might give young readers more ideas of where monsters might be hiding, but in the end delivers a tale about facing your fears and standing up to the monsters.

The monsters encountered cover things like the toy-bunny-eating sofa, the vacuum serpent under the bed, the suitcase monsters under the stairs, and the deep-sea toilet freak. As is to be expected from Base, he takes a variety of fears that children might have and illustrates them in a way that adults will find nostalgic and kids will really click with. 

The only reason this is a nine and not a ten is that the mechanism on each page which transforms things from normal to monsters does occasionally get caught when transitioning, and the worry that this will give kids ideas about monsters where they might not already have anticipated. 

All things considered this is another beautiful book from Base, and is sure to be the perfect addition to any reading collection and a good way to encourage kids to stand up to their own monsters.

BOOK REVIEW: The Amazing Monster DetectoScope by Graeme Base

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