Sean Taylor (text), Jean Jullien (illus.), I Want to be in a Scary Story, Walker Books Australia, 1 Sept 2017, 48pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781406363463
Little Monster wants to be in a story, but not just any story—a SCARY story! But scary stories dark and scary forests, witches and spooky houses. All of this is a little bit too scary for Little Monster—perhaps a funny story would be better.
I Want to be in a Scary Story is a wonderful, interactive children’s book told through dialogue between the narrator (the reader) and Little Monster. As Little Monster finds himself written into the scary story, he seeks to control it: make it less scary, make it into a story where he gets to do the scaring, make it a funny story. Full of surprises and laugh-out-loud moments, this is great fun to read with children who might just see a bit of themselves in the character of Little Monster.
The likable Little Monster moves through a variety of emotions captured beautifully in the bold and entertaining illustrations. The cartoon illustrations use large blocks of colour with a simple but effective colour palette. They alternate between Little Monster and the scary scenes he is being written into and really add to the story, assisting with comprehension and adding to the humour.
My 4 year old really enjoys this story, in the same way she enjoys other interactive books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and The Book with no Pictures. Recommend for children 3 to 6 years old.
Reviewed by Rebecca Blakeney