Robin Bennett – Illustratedby Tom Tinn-Disbury
Brilliantly bonkers, Monster Max takes young readers on a zany adventure like no other. Burps, battles, bizarre inventions and a bobble hat infused with befuddlement it was a big hit with my 8 year old!
Max is an ordinary boy, who lives in an ordinary street with his ordinary parents (there’s just the small matter of his mum’s secret turning-into-a-wolf-thing but we won’t worry about that now!)
Ok, so maybe ordinary isn’t strictly true…in fact far from it – you see when Max burps, he turns into a huge hairy monster who roars loudly and eats whole dustbins. And when he’s had enough of being a monster all he has to do is sneeze – simples! (Well it would be if he wasn’t allergic to flowers and can’t control when or where he sneezes!)
Being a monster is kind of cool until mega monstrous things start to happen around town; broken lamposts, smashed windows and statues of important people bent to look like they’re picking their noses – Max can’t remember commiting such heinous acts but as he’s the only monster in town it has to have been him…doesn’t it? It turns out here is in fact a mysterious individual vandalising the town.
Convinced the culprit is Monster Max, annoying nosy neighbour, self proclaimed genious inventor and poopy-pants schoolboy Perigrine is out to capture him with his latest invention: the Portable Operating Omni Prison, which I’m sure you’ve worked out by now spells POOP! (That’s after he’s tracked it down with his Personal Animal Nano Tracking Sonar, just so we’re clear) There’s so many laugh-out-loud moments and insults fly as Max and Perigrine war with each other. But Max knows the truth and luckily the answer to catching the illusive creature that is destroying their sleepy suburb lies at home.
Max’s mum hails from Krit, a far away country between Translyvania and Moldova and luckily, so does the mythical entity that is The Bobble Hat of Forgetting. Knitted by witches from the ice caves and infused with… ‘befuddlement’ anyone who wears the hat is placed under it’s spell and will instantly forget what they were doing – extremely useful in a situation like this except Max’s dad can’t remember where he put it…doh!
Will Max ever be able to defeat the destroyer that has descended the town into chaos? Is he destined to be irritated to death by his nemesis Perigrine?
Although packed with slapstick comedy (and the occasional bum joke) Monster Max is so much more than a superficial toilet humour, just for laughs book. The mysterious ‘story within a story’ of Krit, his mother’s curious powers and menacing wolven arch rival Fanghorn had us hooked in from the start. This looks set to be explored further in the next book after the cliff-hanger we we left on in the epilogue.
As well as hilarity Monster Max has a whole lot of heart. There’s touching and tender moments inbetween the mad-cap mayhem where we see the strength of love that makes a family. Woven into the story are important messages that different is good and about always being yourself…even if it’s very hard sometimes.
Monster Max was a huge hit in our house. My son was so enthused by the book and didn’t stop talking about it for a long time after, it really captured his imagination. We can’t wait for the next book in the series. It’s like the ‘are we nearly there yet?’on a long car journey, my son literally asks me all the time if it’s out! We’re desperate to find out more about the land of Krit, arch enemy Fanghorn and if the hat’s powers are called on again.
One thing I’m sure, I’ve reached a stage in my life where the bobble hat’s powers would be lost on me! #befuddled is a way of life now!
You can read the monstrous first chapter of the book here on the Firefly Press website.
With thanks to Firefly Press and Rachel’s Randoms Resources for our advance copy of the book and inviting me to be part of the Blog Tour.