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Here Be Monsters

Authored by Jay Hulme
Illustrated by Sahar Haghgoo
Published by Pop Up Projects CIC

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Here Be Monsters: A picture book, told in verse and colourful illustrations, about finding one’s place in the world.

Hatched from an egg that has tumbled into the sea, the unique creature at the centre of this story finds herself alone. She then goes on a journey to see if she can find her place in this strange underwater world. She does not know who her mother is and when she passes other sea denizens such as whales she senses that she is not like them. As the creature journeys through the sea, she feeds and grows to enormous size. Humans hear of her and hunt with weapons but eventually leave her alone after labelling her a monster to be avoided. The creature goes through feelings of emptiness and pain until at long last she is found by her mother and discovers the joy of her true identity.

Here Be Monsters is one of a series of books entitled 10 Stories to Make a Difference. The stories have all been written to illustrate the theme of difference. This title explores the theme through verse and vibrant illustrations. The words flow across the pages and lend themselves to be read aloud to primary aged children. Discussions could then follow, probably in the context of a PHSE lesson. The story is a positive one, the clear message being that ‘there’s no pain you can’t escape’. The illustrations are vivid and the undersea scenes are particularly colourful. This would be a useful addition to PHSE resources and a school library.