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Clementine Beauvais is a Lecturer in Education at the University of York, and is the author of over ten children's books. Maisie Paradise Shearring is an acclaimed illustrator from Hull. In 2015 she won the International Award for Illustration at Bologna Children's Book Fair. Thames & Hudson recently published her interpretation of Oscar Wilde's classic story, The Happy Prince.
What a very special picture book this is, strikingly illustrated by the super-talented Maisie Paradise Shearring and with a story that is utterly child-centred while still giving parents lots to think about. It opens in a playground, a familiar scene, where a mother tells her child to go and play with the little boy in the sandpit. Children neither want nor need to be told how to play, or who to play with, as her son makes clear in no uncertain terms. After all, the boy in the sandpit may be a monster in disguise. A fabulous imaginary adventure follows, which takes us underground into a monster's lair, where hordes of other children are held prisoner. It's a brilliant depiction of the power of a child's imagination, and an ingenious and very funny story. As far as the concept and illustration go, this is the best monster story since Not Now Bernard.
You probably know the feeling. You're playing happily by yourself in the park, when you're suddenly told, `Go and say hello to that little boy over there!' But what if you don't want to say hello? What if the little boy isn't really a little boy at all? What... what if he's a MONSTER in disguise? Welcome to a weird and wonderful `what if?' story where saying hello can lead to all sorts of surprising adventures...
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