Short Stories for Little Monsters

Montreal author Marie-Louise Gay (Stella and Sam series) has written a new picture book containing nineteen short stories about children and animals with big imaginations. The stories are two to four pages in length and illustrated in comic book style with panels and speech bubbles.

When I Close My Eyes is about a little girl who wants her big brother to guess what she sees when her eyes are shut. “You can’t see anything,” he says. Her answer is a collage of the impossible where clocks grow like trees and flowers grow upside down like bats. In Snail Nightmares, three comic strips reveal what snails do not like dreaming about when their eyes are closed. One is a nightmare that is common with people. In What Do Cats See? and What Goes Do Cats Play?, the author-illustrator pokes fun at cats. She shows them attacking “terrifying socks” and “evil dust balls”.

There are stories about serious topics like feeling invisible and being ignored (The Incredible Invisible Boy, The Incredible Invisible Twins) and trying to discern the difference between the truth and a lie (Blowing in the Wind, Jump!). Most of the stories feature school age children but three stories include an adult; a teacher in Who? Me? and Art? and a mother in Zombie Mom and Lies My Mother Told Me. The creativity in this book is abundant because the author envisions a world where trees complain (a woodpecker gives a tree a headache) and laugh (the bunnies are tickling them) and rabbits have secret lives where they are capable of piloting carrots, and rhinoceros (spelled rhisonoros on purpose) are helpful and kind.

Children ages 4-7 could understand these stories but younger children will also enjoy the artwork because it’s colourful and fun. To win a copy of this book, send me an email ([email protected]) and tell me your favourite monster.