Monster Hunting for Beginners

Monster Hunting for Beginners

Monster Hunting for Beginners











Monster Hunting for Beginners

Ian Mark

Louis Ghibault

Farshore Fiction, 2021

204pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99


Monster Hunting isn’t as easy as it looks. And Jack should know. Because an ogre has just appeared in his garden and tried to EAT HIS AUNT. (She was the winner of the World’s Worst Aunt competition, but that’s Not The Point).
After (sort of accidentally) defeating the ogre, Jack finds himself apprenticed to a grumpy, 200-year-old monster hunter called Stoop and heading off to Cornwall, where more ogres are causing havoc.  All he has are his wits, his catapult and a magical – sometimes unreliable – book called Monster Hunting for Beginners.

Jack’s a bit worried he might not be the hero everyone’s waiting for. But then again, how many terrifying, bloodthirsty monsters can there really be?

Any book that has a warning that it contains ogres, bogeymen, zomblings, and crusted hairy snot nibblers as its blurb and is written from an author from Ireland, the land most often associated with these sorts of creatures is bound to capture the imagination of its intended audience.  Add in an ordinary, everyday little boy who is little, clumsy, wears glasses, has weird hair and who is not built for trouble -so pretty much like most of the readers -who narrates the story as though the reader is part of it, and there’s a deeper attraction already. But add to that textual effects like illustrations, short chapters, and font changes that make this ideal for newly independent readers and it is not surprising that Jack has lots of positive reviews and a large fan base already.  

Jack is the sort of everyday hero that young readers relate to because their superhero role models are a touch out of reach, and they can appreciate that even they started somewhere. Overlaid with the adventures is wit and humour and all sorts of tips like looking for a secret door or tunnel if confronted by a monster and nothing else has worked, this is the first in a new series that will appeal to those who love their good vs evil stories and who secretly see themselves in the role of the conqueror whether they are 8 or 800!. 















Roald Dahl

Puffin, 2016

224pp., pbk., RRP $A16.99


When Sophie is woken by a silver moonbeam shining through a crack in the curtains, and, against the rules of the orphanage in which she lives, she gets out of bed to close the curtain she has no idea that her life is about to take her on the most amazing adventure and be changed forever.

For as she peeks out she sees a most amazing sight… coming up the other side of the street was something black. Something  tall and black. Something very tall and very black and very thin.

It is nearly 40 years since I first picked up this book by Roald Dahl, creator of classic characters like Willy Wonka and Miss Truncbull and as I read the first few pages, I could hear myself sharing the story with my students.  All these years on and countless students have met the iconic big, friendly giant as it has been my go-to book in so many situations.  Share the passage of his description, get the children to identify the keywords and then interpret these in drawing and discuss why each child’s work is different even though they started with the same information.  Drop coloured dye onto paper towelling, write your dream on it, put it in a jar and open it on  the last day of school to see if you still have the same dreams….

Using his gift for language that remains with us and his irreverence for adults, Dahl delights children with his tales and it is time now for the next generation to become fans, just as those who have met him previously have done. 

So, on this Roald Dahl Day 2020 introduce your students to one of the world’s greatest storytellers and let the fun begin.