The Chocolate Monster
Faber & Faber, 2017
32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Oh my goodness! A mighty tricky, sticky thief has been spotted on the loose. It’s The Chunk. He’s silent like a cloud, walks on tippy-toes, has HUGE hands and feet and a bulbous twitching nose. His purple fur streaked with pink covers his gleaming eyes and even though he is very tall, he’s very good at disguise! And his passion is chocolate – no matter where it is or how it is, he can find it and steal it.
This is a lovely romp in rhyme searching out that elusive chocolate monster, that mysterious, invisible creature who manages to discover and devour any chocolate in the house or even the neighbourhood. Everyone is warned to be on their guard because who knows where he will turn up next – and with 100 000 chocolate bars as a reward, who wouldn’t be watching for it.
This is a hilarious standalone story that little ones will love but it also offers some great teaching opportunities, the first being to give the children the description of the monster without showing them Laura Hughes’s interpretation and challenge them to draw what the words suggest. Even though they are all working with the same words, each picture will be different because of each individual’s previous experience so it is a great introduction to the notion that we all perceive events in a different way depending on what we already know and believe and our role within them. As a follow-up, share A. A. Milne’s The King’s Breakfast and have the children draw the King!
Back in the days when we could have fun at school, Year 3 did an investigation into chocolate which transcended curriculum borders and this book would be an ideal starting point for a similar investigation, Why is chocolate so loved? Would the book have the same appeal if it were a broccoli monster? Does a chocolate a day keep the doctor away? Why, if not for a fly no bigger than a pinhead, would there be no chocolate?
There are riches more yummy than chocolate itself in this book!