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  • Writer's pictureSandy

School of Monsters: Bug's First Day and Jem's Big Idea, by Sally Rippin, art by Chris Kennett

It's no secret that we are a little bit obsessed with the School of Monsters books in our household (I have previously reviewed the series on my page here) - so you can imagine our excitement when we heard there were new books coming out in the series about a whole new class of monsters! Wheeee!

Mr 5 and I have read the first two books in the new series on repeat. In Bug's First Day, all the monsters are busily engaged in learning - but poor little Bug just wants to hide himself away. He can't read or write and doesn't know his numbers. Will Teacher help him realise that he doesn't need to be perfect, and that she is there to help him learn?

In Jem's Big Idea, there is nothing the high-spirited and clever Jem can't do. Her wheels are super speedy and she always comes first! But wheels can be tricky too, especially when playing hide and seek - can Jem come up with an innovative plan to find a new hiding spot?

These books beautifully bridge the sometimes tricky gap between picture books and chapter books, with large text font, rhyming words highlighted for emphasis, simple sentence structure, and vibrant engaging illustrations (Chris Kennett does an amazing job of presenting the monsters as adorably cute). Mr 5 loves to pore over the quirky detail in the illustrations.

At the end of each book there are two pages of new words to learn and a drawing guide for little artists. Mr 5 loves attempting to read these books himself now - and we've also had a go at drawing each character, which is such a lovely activity to do together. I love books that extend the learning experience in this way.

I also love the themes of friendship, teamwork, resilience and kindness.

We've been gifting these books to Mr 5's friends whenever he goes to a birthday party.

Thank you Hardie Grant Books for our review copies of these books. Opinions expressed are our own. We purchased the first lot of books in this series ourselves.

Published by Hardie Grant Kids Books

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