Newest Review: ... they were priced at £5.99 which wasn't that bad a price although I have since found them retailing on amazon at £3.00-£4.00. Amongst the ... more
Member Name: sandemp
That's Not My Monster - F. Watt
Advantages: Lots of textures to feel and pictures to talk about
Disadvantages: May introduce the ideas of monsters (but they are funny rather than scary monsters)
Story time is a very important part of Freddy's day and part of his bedtime routine. We've been sharing books with Freddy after his last bottle of milk ever since we brought him home from hospital and our favourite series of board books are the "That's not my...." touchy feeling range, written by Fiona Watt, illustrated by Rachel Wells and published by Usborne. We've built up quite a collection of these bright, tactile books over the last few months and Freddy's latest favourite is "That's Not My....Monster", which we've shared for the last few nights.
While this six inch square board book was far too large and heavy for Freddy to hold when we first started sharing it several months ago, it's now the perfect size for him to hold on to and the pages are thick enough for him to turn without any worries that anything will rip. The pages are also lightly laminated, meaning that when Freddy bites or sucks on them they don't come to any harm and any dribble (or vomit) can easily be wiped off.
Before we even open the book, Freddy is entranced with the front cover, with it's picture of a friendly, bright green monster, accompanied by the words "That's not my monster...". And why isn't it our monster? Well in the middle of his face is a green, squishy, bumpy nose that's just too bobbly. Freddy just loves to poke this nose, while Mummy or Daddy reads the words, and if asked where the nose is, will immediately give it a prod. Once he's given the monster's nose a good prod, Freddy is ready to move on to the next page and finds it easy to turn the page himself.
Turning the page, we're faced with a very pink monster, with very hairy eyebrows. Freddy loves to tickle these eyebrows, and will then tickle Mummy or Daddy's eyebrows, while giggling. What I love about this book, is that not only is there the pictures to illustrate the basic story of looking for our monster, but there's also lots of other little details that we can talk about. On this page, there's a little bumble bee and two flowers that we can count and describe. And on every single page, there's a little mouse who is sometimes in plain sight and sometimes hiding.
Moving on to the next page, and there's a picture of a very goofy looking monster, who looks a little like Nessy to me. This monster has lots of feet to count, but isn't our monster because it's spikes are too fuzzy. When we get to this page we like to count the fuzzy spikes as we feel the felt-like material. We also like to point to the eyes, that are really noticeable as they are on stalks, as well as counting the feet and stripes. That's something that's really great about this particular book, there's lots of opportunities to point to, name and describe different parts of the body.
Turning the page and we've taken a trip to out of space as the next monster is an alien with shiny paws, but we've still not found our alien because the paws are too bumpy. Freddy really loves this page, because it's so shiny. And I love this page because there's once more lots to talk about, including the moon, stars and even the way the monster is sticking it's tongue out. On the next page, we go from outer space to under the sea to find a sea monster with a lovely long tail and horns. But it's not our monster because those horns are just too rough. Freddy isn't actually too keen on this page as he finds it hard to scrape his nail across the Velcro that makes up the horns, and as far as he's concerned that's what Velcro is for. What I do like about this page is the little details, the mouse is wearing a mask and snorkel and I love the little snails peaking out.
And so we come to the final page and we finally find our monster, and what a crazy looking monster he is, with his wonky smile, wiggly arms and really fluffy ears. Freddy does love to stroke the ears, but he sometimes gets a bit upset at this point because he knows that story time is over and it's time for bed, so sometimes we'll go through the book just one more time.
As with all the "That's Not My..." books, this is a great book for sharing with a baby or young child. The simple storyline, bright pictures and different textures are ideal for catching even a very young baby's attention. Freddy loves this book and as it has been read to him many, many times he knows exactly where all the different textures are. As well as just reading the basic story to him, we also spend time looking at the pictures, with Mummy or Daddy describing what we can see. This book is particularly good for introducing the names of different body parts, such as ears, mouth, eyes, feet and arms as they do look so prominent and crazy in the pictures. The book is also very sturdy and has, so far, withstood all Freddy's attentions over the last six months and looks as good as new.
So am I recommending this book, too right, it's brilliant, fun and even educational. As with all the "That's Not My..." books, sharing this book will not only help your child learn that books are fun, but it also provides lots of opportunities to introduce vocabulary, especially descriptive vocabulary, which will help your child express themselves as they get older. My only real concern, is that this book does introduce the idea of monsters, but the monsters do all look very friendly, if a bit goofy, so I could see this book being used to convince a child that monsters are funny rather than scary. I'm therefore giving this book a fabulous five stars out of five, as it's one that Freddy will often pick if given a choice, and recommending it to the parents of baby's and young children, aged from birth to about three.
Summary: Great book for sharing