Published by Kids Can Press on October 4th 2016
A five-year-old boy has gone with his father to swing on his favorite swing near the woods. But while he's been having fun swinging, a huuuuuge monster has woken up nearby from a very long nap. The monster is ravenous, and there's only one thing that will satisfy its hunger: little children! At first, the monster has no luck as it searches the woods for food. Then, oh, no! The monster spies the little boy on the swing! But when the monster creeps closer and tries to scare the boy with its fierce cry, “pruwwwahhahaha!” the boy isn't frightened at all. In fact, he only laughs at the monster and keeps swinging! Is the boy fearless? Or does he know something about this monster that we don't know?
With humor and suspense, children will be on the edge of their seats listening to this lively picture book. Author Jean-Paul Mulders artfully tells the story using rhythmic language and fun monster sounds that children will love repeating aloud. The two-color illustrations by team Jacques Maes and Lise Braekers feature lots of busy forest scenes to keep readers guessing what might be “out there” while, of course, never actually revealing the “monster.” Small children delight in being spooked, and this book offers just the right amount of thrill, perfectly balanced with humor and the warmth of the relationship between the boy and his father.
The Pruwahaha Monster is a story told by a father to his son while he pushes him on a swing. The story is a bit scary with a monster who is looking for a child to feast upon. Personally, I thought it was sort of funny in a “morbid” kind of way. However, this story is not meant to scare but to empower the little boy not to fear the monster.
The illustrations are gorgeous. I love the colors used, and all the details throughout. With the words of the story contained to every other page, the reader gets a chance to fully explore the illustrations and see all the beauty within them. My favorite things about the illustrations are the woodland creatures (especially the bunny). As you read the book it is clear that the story and the illustrations go hand in hand. It is a perfect artistic pairing.
The writing is descriptive and beautiful. With a change in font size, the illustrator/author gives the reader a visual cue to remind them to change his/her voice while reading the story out loud. Along with visual cues, the author uses more difficult vocabulary that opens up the opportunity for readers and listeners of the story to learn new words.
One of my favorite things about the Pruwahaha Monster is the feeling of mystery created by the author in regards to the monster. Younger readers are sure to be on the edge of their seats. There will be questions that will arise as to who the monster really is. This can lead to an excellent opportunity to discuss the meaning of the word “monster’. Are there different meanings/types of monsters? How do they differ from the ones created in our own imagination?
At first, I was a bit concerned that this book would frighten little kids. However, the story’s tone does change quickly and the cheerful illustrations also help take away from the “scary” factor. Due to the positive message about conquering one’s fear and laughing at it. As well as the mystery behind who the monster really is. I believe both kids and adults will enjoy and be entertained by this story.
The Pruwahaha Monster is the perfect Fall read as we approach Halloween. A bit scary, fun, and entertaining. It is sure to delight young and old readers alike.
Thank you to Netgalley and Kids Can Press for providing me with an E-ARC in return for an honest review.