Monster and Chips is a compulsively readable, delightfully illustrated series of novels for young readers that are full of good-natured gross-out humor and suspenseful scenarios. Joe stumbles into Fuzzby Bixington's Monster Diner one day while running away from the school bully and is adopted as a general dogsbody and sous-chef. In volume one, Monster and Chips, Joe discovers all manner of monstrous culinary secrets that he and his friends -- Barry, a wisecracking, tentacled, four-eyed "cat"; and Twig, a young, sweet tree-monster -- use to help Fuzzby compete on Monsterchef, where he faces a villainous, cheating horror of a monster. In volume two, Night of the Living Bread, a series of short episodes culminate with Fuzzy, Joe and friends cooking the Pizza of Ultimate Darkness to feed the dread Night-Mayor at his secretive annual feast.
The illustrations in the books are a delight. The monsters are charming and distinctive and endlessly varied. A tribe of tiny pebble-like monsters called the Guzzelins get their own one-or-two panel strips at the bottom of many of the pages, providing color commentary on the action. Best of all are the daily special menus from Fuzzby's Diner, which feature amazingly gross dishes that are enormous fun to read aloud.
I read these to my daughter at bedtimes twice over, and she loved them. At five, she's not quite ready to read them to herself, but the words in the cartoons and daily specials boards welcomed her in and she took great pleasure in reading them. I think in a year or two she'd be delighted to read them over to herself.
These books are only published in the UK (you can buy them in the US as imports), which is a pity. There's some UK-specific stuff (chips instead of fries, for example) but nothing too esoteric -- and certainly nothing that an audience prepared to parse out the details of Monsterland should be stopped by.
Back in 2016, Naomi Kritzer won the Hugo award for her brilliant, endearing story Cat Pictures Please, in which an AI with an insatiable craving for cat pictures explains its view on the world and the way that it makes humans' lives better; now Kritzer has adapted the story into her new novel, the equally […]
Cecil Castellucci (previously) is a polymath artist: YA novelist, comics writer, librettist, rock star; her latest book, Girl on Film, is an extraordinary memoir of her life in the arts, attending New York's School for the Performing Arts (AKA "The Fame School") and being raised by her parents, who are accomplished scientists.
From the 1950s until the 1980s, Randy and Dotti Smith supplied a line of fantastic cast sculptures sold in Disney theme-park gift shops, especially a line of skulls sold in shops associated with the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides; these Randotti skulls haven't been sold in decades, you can still find used ones (at high prices) online, as Boing Boing pal and fabulous illustrator Coop discovered when he sourced an impressive collection of Randotti sculpts.
For all that tech that gets squeezed into them, the best wireless earbuds are ones we barely have to think about. That’s the whole point, right? We get wireless because we just want to hit play and have a hands-free, cordless soundtrack for the rest of the commute. If that’s your philosophy, definitely give these […]
Need a boost on that resume? Get a valuable tech education on your own time with these eBook bundles. They contain guides from Packt Publishing that cover everything from game development to machine learning. The Complete Mobile App Developer eBook Bundle It’s a veritable gold rush in the App Store these days. Get in on […]
Vinyl is officially back. People are hearing the proof behind the initial “retro” excitement: that records really do have a richer sound. And if you haven’t switched to old-school records for serious listening, it’s a new golden age. Why? Because quality turntables like the Altec Lansing ALT-500 are finally available to a market other than […]