Monday, October 05, 2009

PROPAGANDA Reviews: Morris The Mankiest Monster

Morris The Mankiest Monster

by Giles Andreae and Sarah McIntyre

David Fickling Books

It’s years since he last changed his t-shirt.
It’s crusty and crawling with ants.
His shoes are all slurpy and squelchy inside.
And potatoes grow out of his pants.

Just look at the cover – sweet, cute and fantastically gross. But what you can’t see is the brilliantly embossed green bogey on the cover. So it’s a book that plasters a huge smile across your face even before you’ve opened it up. Thankfully, no-one at DFB thought to make this a scratch and sniff cover – that would have been too much!

(One of the lovely double page spreads that feature throughout Morris The Mankiest Monster.Published by David Fickling Books, text © Giles Andreae, illustrations © Sarah McIntyre.)

Inside you’ve a beautifully drawn and written picture book that should delight younger readers; boys and girls alike will be enthralled by Morris’ mucky and smelly world and will want you to read the rhyming text over and over and over again. Every page is full of little details, most of them as revolting as possible.

Both writer and artist have got form in the brilliant books stakes – Giles Andreae is the creator of Purple Ronnie and was behind those Edward Monkton cards and merchandise that sprung up a few years ago. And you may well be familiar with Sarah McIntyre if you’re a long time reader of the FPI blog. We (that’s me and my daughter, 10 year old Molly) first noticed her a few years ago with Vern & Lettuce, her delightful strip in the much missed DFC comic. (For our views on Vern & Lettuce, see here and here).

(Molly’s favourite page in the book – how many smelly, revolting things can you spot? Published by David Fickling Books, text © Giles Andreae, illustrations © Sarah McIntyre.)

Molly thought the book was riotously funny, loved the gross bits and kept pointing out all of the muck and filth to her Mum, encouraged by every single Yuck and Euurgh she received. Here’s what Molly had to say:

I liked the way that Morris is small and cute but gross as well. Every page has something to make you laugh and it’s wonderfully colourful. My favourite page is the one with Morris’ kitchen and the shelves full of horrible things like Toe Jam, Armpit Custard and Sun-dried Nose Hair. I hope Sarah likes my Maggie!

(Molly’s version of Morris – Maggie the 2nd mankiest monster)

Morris The Mankiest Monster – a worthy successor to Raymond Briggs’ Fungus The Bogeyman, packed with fun, a great rhyming reader to be enjoyed again and again, beautifully drawn and guaranteed to have your young ones asking for more. Hopefully they wont get any ideas and start making their own collection of pickled toenail clippings or belly button cordial.

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