Tag Archives: Love Monster

Perfect Presents

We were delighted to receive these two sequels to books that we thoroughly enjoyed. Fiona Roberton’s almost line-drawings are a complete contrast to Rachel Bright’s colourful prints but the art in both is stunning. These are two wonderful series, and I thoroughly recommend both.

The Perfect Present: Fiona Roberton (Hodder Children's Books, 2012, PB 2013)The Perfect Present: Fiona Roberton (Hodder Children’s Books, 2012, PB 2013)

We absolutely loved the first book about Henry and Spot, Wanted: The Perfect Pet, and the duo return here for Henry’s birthday. Spot has found what he thinks is the perfect present, but when Henry gets distracted by another present and doesn’t even open Spot’s, Spot leaves feeling dejected…

Oh, how I feel for poor Spot as he leaves. Not only that but it’s dark and miserable out too, with lightening and things do seem to get a bit hairy… But I’ll let you in on a secret, it does all end well, with Spot and Henry reunited. I am so in love with these characters, they are pitch perfect and adorable. The minimal art style still conveys so much emotion, and it’s all quite wonderfully surreal.

The books are also laid out into chapters, although they are very much in picture book format, but this makes them excellent for early readers. They are more suitable for older (late EYFS/KS1) children because of the subtleties in them, but can be enjoyed by toddlers and pre-schoolers too.

If you’ve not met Henry and Spot yet, I thoroughly recommend finding a copy of Wanted: The Perfect Pet first. The Perfect Present works well independently, but is just even better with the back story.

Love Monster & the Perfect Present: Rachel Bright (HarperCollins Children's Books, 2013)Love Monster & the Perfect Present: Rachel Bright (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2013)

Another fabulous sequel following a wonderful first book. We loved Love Monster in his first tale, and this sequel he’s trying to find a special gift for the most special monster in his life. But although the shops are packed full of sparkling gifts, apparently fluff and buttons don’t go very far to buy them…

How wonderful it is for a book to extol the virtues of heartfelt gifts that do not need to cost the earth. We live in such a materialistic society with children constantly bombarded by the messages of consumerism, and I do fall into the trap of wanting to get my children nice gifts, but it’s good to be reminded about all the things that are worth far more than money.

Mighty-Girl has asked me what I want for Christmas, and I have requested one of her books because she writes such wonderful stories. I hope she realises that this means more to me than anything money could ever buy.

Beautifully illustrated, and full of love, this is a great book for Christmas (you can even borrow it from the library to eschew consumerism – but it would be really nice to put in someone you love’s stocking too!)

Disclosure: We were sent copies of The Perfect Present by Hachette Children’s Books and Love Monster and the Perfect Present by HarperCollins Children’s Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.

[Word count: 523; November word count: 2,129]

Love Monster, Hate Printing

Hate is a bit of an overstatement, but I’ve gone with artistic licence for the title of this post!

Love Monster is a lovely book about being different and being loved for who you are, not for being like everyone else. I really liked the book, and enjoy reading it to the girls. But what I didn’t realise until seeing the video below is that the pictures are created by printing, which is why they have the lovely quality that they have.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e8yxqht0i0]

On seeing this, I was inspired. This is generally not a good thing, because I have the artistic talent of, um, a cluster of colour blind hedgehogs in a bag… But still, I wanted to do printing! Printing! The girls would love that. Wouldn’t they?

Light sensitive etching plates and printing presses aren’t a feasible option so I started to think lino printing because I remembered doing it at school, but didn’t think that was a particularly safe option for small children. After some great advice from Zoe at Playing by the Book I decided to get 4 colours of water based printing ink, a brayer (or roller) and tried to get the girls interested in attempting printing using biro drawings on styrofoam.

It didn’t really work very well. The girls didn’t really get the idea of drawing on the styrofoam (pizza packaging in our case); I couldn’t find a biro or the paper embossing tools that I’m sure I have somewhere and the blunt end of a paintbrush wasn’t the viable alternative I hoped it would be (although pencils worked well); and one roller between two children (and 4 colours) meant arguments and lots of roller cleaning…

I had a rethink. Foam sheets! Then the girls wouldn’t have to draw anything, just needed some foam stickers to stick on and instant printing. So I invested in 2 more rollers, thinking this would be a huge hit, and we tried again.

The girls weren’t interested. Mighty-Girl did one print, and then was far more interested in making patterns with the foam stickers (and ‘painting’ them with the ink) and although Destructo-Girl managed some prints with help, she much prefered making handprints.

Mummy got completely frustrated that her brilliant idea wasn’t appreciated, and sulked. Looking back at the pictures, it looks a lot more successful than I remembered!

On the bright side, Love Monster is a lovely book that I can read again and again. And we have all the tools we need for attempting printing again, at some point in the future…

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Love Monster by HarperCollins for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.