CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 9. . . .November 4, 2016
The Pruwahaha Monster.
Jean-Paul Mulders. Illustrated by Jacques Maes & Lise Braekers.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2016.
26 pp., hardcover, $16.95.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Tamara Opar.
The monster tensed its
muscles and sinews.
It held its breath.
It turned its tongue round
seven times in its mouth
the way monsters do when
they are out hunting. And then
it leaped out and howled:
I truly enjoyed reading The Pruwahaha Monster, Jean-Paul Mulders delightful story of how a little boy and his father spend time together playing on the swings. I read the book out loud (just me in the room), and I imagined reading it to my little grandnieces and grandnephew. How much fun we would have by reading the story using our voices to create the suspenseful atmosphere!
All elements of this book are fun and playful, reflecting the relationship between the father and his son. It also embraces a certain charm
both in Mulders’ writing and in the illustrations created by Jacques Maes and Lise Braekers. I find the matt shades of the illustrations are reminiscent of children’s books published in the 1960’s and seem to offer a warm and comfortable forest to play in.
The writing, itself, is full of fun little anecdotes and expression, such as in the description of where the swing is “…near the farmhouse with the green doors where the ladies who make pancakes lived.” The font changes from time to time to make a point or to create a mood or express an emotion. The language used is fun to read and told in short, simple sentences that describe the monster that is hungry for children quite nicely, right down to his unique aroma of sprouts and old slippers.
There is much to look at and enjoy in this suspenseful book, although I did find the ending a little confusing where the monster is actually illustrated, defeating the secret joke of father as monster.
The Pruwahaha Monster is a great story to enjoy with children, and it has the added surprise of a search and find within the story which includes looking for a bird pooping from its perch, something that I know my little grandnephew will delight in.
Tamara Opar is Section Head of Children’s and Teen Services at Millennium Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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