*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Max is an unusual 9-year-old. He can turn himself into a huge, bin- eating monster by BURPING. Being a monster is brilliant, unless he sneezes (which turns him back) and he finds himself far from home in just his pants.
Max decides to be more responsible and ‘protect and do good stuff’, starting with catching a local vandal. But his nemesis, Peregrine, is convinced Max is the vandal, and invents his POOP (Portable Operating Omni Prison) machine to trap him. If Peregrine can prove the truth, Max and his mother could be put in a zoo … or worse. Max will have to use his wits as well as his strength to catch the real culprit, before Peregrine can catch him…
We LOVE Monster Max!
As soon as I read the last page to them, Babybows (5) begged me to find out if there was “already a next ones!” and Minishine (8) urged me to purchase a paper copy “for us to keep and read again and again!” Said paperback is already winging its way to the Shine household, and I have set an alert to keep checking for more books from Robin Bennett.
I already knew this was likely to be a great read, as I had previously read and reviewed The Hairy Hand by the same author, and loved that too. But we love Monster Max even more!
There is just the right blend of adventure and humour – both the toilet humour that Babybows lives for and Minishine secretly appreciates too, and a more subtle, mature humour, which will be appreciated by older children and parents who are looking for some palatable bedtime chapter-book reading.
Max learns some important lessons in the story, about friendship, responsibility and judging by first impressions. He does so in an utterly captivating, non-preachy, can’t-even-tell-there’s-a-moral-because-having-so-much-fun way. I’m not sure who roared more: Max as a monster, or us reading about his baggy pants and the P.O.O.P. machine!
There’s some really lovely worldbuilding too, with everything from the Krit fauna and history, to Max’s mysteriously large house, with all its secret passages.
Minishine’s favourite thing about the book is that it is ‘weird, and brilliant, and very, very funny!’ Babybows was a little concerned about Fanghorn and the rubbish dump baddies, but trusted Max to handle everything one way or another. After all, what’s not to trust in a boy that accesses his super-powers by burping!
We all loved the pictures and agreed that they fit perfectly with the lively and irreverent tone (in my words, that is; the kids said ‘good’, ‘funny’ and ‘brilliant’ a lot!) And we’ve all been repeating bits to each other through fits of giggles: “You could see his bum!”, “He nearly weed himself!”, “Buuuuurp!” (That last one was Babybows, who has been rather hopefully burping A LOT for the last few days.
So, an absolute hit here! We would recommend this one to children, parents, schools… everyone really. We’re already DESPERATE for more from Max!
‘You have to stop turning yourself into a big hairy monster,’ said Max’s dad, one morning at breakfast. ‘There’s a report in the paper. People are saying things.’
‘I can’t help it,’ said Max pouring himself some cereal.
[Important Note: This is not completely true. Max is very special: he can turn himself into a monster whenever he wants – he just has to BURP. And he can turn himself back into a small, grubby boy again just by SNEEZING. He has taught himself how, but (as you will find out) sometimes he burps by mistake and Max is allergic to flowers, which makes him sneeze, so when he turns back into a boy again, it is hardly ever the right moment.]
‘Then you’ll have to work something out,’ his dad continued. ‘It says here that last night something that may have been a bloodcurdling monster:
■ scared several old ladies at bus stops all over Oxford
■ and climbed a tall statue in the park and shouted ‘Bum!’
Luckily, the paper says it was probably someone in a costume… although a Mrs Mudford-Sock of Mamble Drive is sure it was next-door’s poodle. But you can’t keep becoming a monster and scaring people.’– Robin Bennett, Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting
‘I read a book, too.’
‘Well, reading books is good,’ Max’s dad admitted. ‘Well done.’
Giveaway to Win a Monster Max Cuddly Toy (UK Only)
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Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting is available on Amazon right now.
Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below for details) for more great content and reviews!