A huge thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for organising this tour and to Natalie reeves-Billing for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Two Books in 1! The Monstrous Me Collection are split perspective books looking at situations from other points of view, helping children develop a sense of balance, roundedness and wellbeing. Readers can literally and figuratively, turn the story on its head, and look at the very same situations from different angles. In this book, a brother and sister are convinced the other is a monster. But, are they really? When we look at the story from the other side, we see a very different story.
The Monstrous Me collection is a fantastic and fun way for children to develop a sense of self and of others. It supports children looking at everyday events through their own eyes and how they may seem to other people around them – in this case brother/sister. It gently encourages children to consider the feelings of others and the effects of their own actions may have on those around us.
My Brother/My Sister is a Monster is a look at how siblings can see things differently from each other and how each of them may feel in the same situation. You read from the beginning to the centre and the story is told from the brother’s point of view and the flip it over and read the same scenario from the sister’s perspective.
This series is so simple yet completely genius and an excellent way for young children to begin to learn about empathy. The use of situations that all children can identify with is such a good way to be inclusive – it doesn’t rely on places or experiences some children have not had but instead, uses everyday homelife as a discussion point.
The illustrations really bring the story to life and there are lots of things happening to discuss beyond the written. They are bold and there’s so much going on to encourage discussion and I love the brightly coloured monsters.
As a teacher and parent, the facial expressions are great for teaching about emotional literacy and there are extended discussions around how the parents may be feeling at different points too. Another way to extend discussion around these books is look at how the family could work together to make everyone happier, and also look at what each child can do to make the situation together.
This simple book is enjoyable as a shared story for fun or can be used on so many levels for further discussion and work around being considerate or understanding other people can feel differently in the same situations or, have reasons for behaving a certain way. Highly recommended.
Author Bio – Natalie Reeves-Billing
Natalie Reeves Billing is a Liverpool lass with a dark sense of humour, which often spills onto the page. She loves to write spooky, fantastical stories for young audiences, and dabbles in poetry, contemporary fiction.
Natalie spent most of her early career in the music industry as a performer and professional songwriter. This lead, almost inevitably, to storytelling.
Natalie is an Arvon Foundation friend and is a student of the Golden Egg Academy. She is mentored under the Lloyds Bank SSE program, with her Bubs Literacy project. She is published in several anthologies with her poetry and flash fiction, including the Writing on the Wall, Read Now, Write Now, and is involved in several collaborations with fellow writers across poetry, song, and scriptwriting.
Her new book, My Mummy is a Monster (part of the Monstrous Me collection) will be available in March 2020 and Carry Love in June 2020
Connect with Natalie on Twitter @BillingReeves.