Kitty sat tucked up next to the bottom shelf of the children’s library, hunkered down on a bright green and yellow pouffe so squishy that long knees rose up to meet her chin, flipping past all sorts of shapes and sizes of picture books, with a most determined expression.
“What sort of book are you looking for sweetheart?” I asked, confidently expecting “princesses!”, “pink”, “purple”, “Daddy” or “ice cream” to feature somewhere in the answer.
The patter of plastic wrapped covers thudding into each other paused momentarily and a small thoughtful face turned up to meet my gaze:
“Monsters!” it said.
Well we searched back and forth along that shelf for a book about monsters but nothing that I pulled out was deemed quite monstery enough and so we left with a couple of new-to-us Oliver Jeffers and as far as Kitty was concerned we’d called it a day.
But this Mama is not one to be thwarted by the limits of a library bookshelf, or even a library catalogue. Although Kitty hasn’t realised it yet, I’m a complete pushover when it comes to books. I may limit moshi monsters, chocolate buttons, and telly, and rail against the onslaught of small pink plastic ephemera that she seems to trail in her wake, but if she brings me a book in a shop (and we’re talking proper books here, not character merchandise) there’s a very good chance she’ll get to take it home. So if she tells me she wants a story about monsters, a story about monsters she shall have.
And clearly Calliope smiled on my quest for there on the shelf in Waterstones, tucked behind Aliens love Underpants, was Kitty’s vision come to ink and paper:
The tale of a small and curious Monty who finds a book of inventions that is organic chemistry’s answer to Pandora’s box, and decides to find out what does happen when you mix bright green slime, a smelly sock, mouldy cheese and strawberry jelly.
It’s so beautifully silly, and vibrantly illustrated it’s no surprise that it was a big hit with both girls,
Although I’m afraid to tell you Kitty-cakes that little sisters are not frightened away by big kisses in quite the same way as monsters.
In fact, it might make them like the book even more!
My instinct is that the ending is a set up for a whole series of Monstersaurus stories, and I really hope I’m right; they’re funny and magical and I know at least two little girls (and one rather bigger one) who would very much like to know what happens next.
It’s inspiration time again – do go and visit Lucy and Kelle to see what they’ve been reading, and if you’ve seen something you think we all ought to be reading, join in the linky.