Reviews /

Monster School

Authored by Kate Coombs
Illustrated by Lee Gatlin
Published by Chronicle Books

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‘Monster School’ makes poetry cool. A fun and spooky story filled with rhyme aplenty’

This book gives readers an entirely new perspective of what school is like. Monster School is filled with a plethora of different characters, all unique, and guides us through their school day from a range of different perspectives. While characters in this book take the form of gargoyles, ghosts and a rather talented skateboarder with a pumpkin for a head, each individual bears characteristics and traits (not necessarily appearances) that are certainly relatable in a typical UK school. The illustrations by Lee Gatlin are highly engaging.

Monster School explores themes of loneliness, popularity, appearances, self-doubt and anxiety in a subtle and way that I think has the potential to resonate with readers extremely well. I think this book would sit perfectly in a Year Four to Year Six classroom and provide plenty of intrigue and discussion amongst readers. The book could be used as a strong stimulus for PSHE discussion, a Halloween writing unit in English, or simply as a day to day read from the classroom bookshelf.  Monster School provides plenty of opportunities for vocabulary based discussion, with words such as ‘multicultural’, ‘advance’, ‘catacomb’, ‘devious’ and ‘wingspan’ likely to be unfamiliar to plenty of readers.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and will be popping it straight onto my classroom bookshelf after Christmas!