A. Mazing Monster Series
“The monsters have a tendency to escape and to wreak havoc across the world.”
A series of books that really are actually amazing.
In 1977, a ten year old Christopher Slater drew four monsters. His father, Jim, wrote stories based around them. So was born the A. Mazing Monsters series of books.
Based around the plights of several different monster, and the world’s foremost expert on monsters – Mr A. Mazing, the books are a charming set of tales. Most often based around a monster being captured or placed in a zoo (Mr Grim’s zoo to be precise) with Mr A. Mazing called in to give advice.
The monsters have a tendency to escape and to wreak havoc across the world.
Each book is fully illustrated by the young Christopher Slater. In the two years from those first drawings, he managed to completely illustrate 16 books. The illustrations have a fantastic charm to them, and are bright, pleasing and full of great little details.
Trying to give an idea of the age they will appeal too is difficult, but a four year old won’t be bored being told this book, and they’re simple enough in language for most early school years and very young readers. Even Minor_Furie at thirteen enjoyed reading them (as did I).
The stories can be a little hit and miss, but they’re often more hit than miss. There’s no pretence towards “education”, but there is a strong subtext which often has some kind of point to make. There is an appeal in children trying to find “Webfoot” with his big eyes and webbed feet – disguised as… Anything on the page. “The Winkybird” introduces the idea of compound multiplication, “Greeneye” tackles racism and several stories seem to have a deep ecological message. It never gets in the way of a great story though.
As with all good tales, there’s often two levels. There is a simple tale the kids can love, but often an adult humour creeping in that keeps the grown up reader at bedtime entertained. Then there are images like “The Tricky Troggle” with his belly in the shape of the house he’s just eaten – everyone will smile at that.
The series of books is superb. Everyone will have their own personal favourite monster and story. Kids will love to try copying the pictures, and interacting with the books (most of the books have references to other books in the series- usually through pictures on walls).
The books are available online in a single collection only from http://www.amazingmonsters.com/purchase/
So go on, get them in and invite a Snuggly into your home!