Review also includes:
The Abominable Snowman: A Story from Nepal, 64pp, 978-1846865572, £5.99 pbk
The Feathered Ogre: A Story from Italy, 48pp, 978-1846865626, £7.99 pbk
The Terrible Chenoo: A Story from North America, 48pp, 978-1846865558, £5.99 pbk
This is a new series of Early Readers from Barefoot, though all the stories have appeared before in The Barefoot Book of Monsters. Each story features a monster who is defeated by clever humans. In The Mother of Monsters lively Ntombi is the Chief’s daughter who will not marry until she has seen the Ilulange River. Her journey is an exciting adventure which ends with her finding the perfect husband. In The Abominable Snowman Ramay is a lazy but clever boy who manages to defeat the monster and the trickster and gain all his heart desires. Pirola, the youngest palace gardener in The Feathered Ogre sets off to find a very special feather plucked from a giant ogre. He tricks the ogre and finds himself a surprise bride along the way. The Terrible Chenoo has a clever and brave hunter’s wife who outwits the Chenoo, but not in any conventional way; the Chenoo discovers for the very first time what it is like to have friends and his heart thaws.
Although these stories are short, some of the names and language used may not be the easiest for first readers. The stories do, however, capture the spirit of the culture they are from, they read aloud well and are very exciting. They are divided into short chapters which may well encourage children to have a go by themselves.