by Steve Light
Published by Walker Books ISBN: 9781406359435
Review by Priya Bual
Have You Seen My Monster? shows the story of a little girl’s trip to the county fair, where she loses her pet monster. Through the book’s simple yet detailed illustrations the reader follows the monster interacting and taking part in different parts of the fair. Following along with finding the monster, this book teaches children about shapes that are hidden in plain sight. On each double page spread a shape is highlighted through colour against the black and white illustrations with a key in the corner, indicating the shapes name.
The illustrations make a huge impact on the book’s story and educational purposes. Being sharp, black and white drawings, with minute details and to create depth and textures, the illustrations really bring the fair to life. Steve Light uses pen and ink to create strong lines which create a doodle effect to the illustrations. Also, adding the hint of colour to the shapes the reader is looking for creates a clear and fun way to learn. Going from the standard ‘square’ to the more advanced ‘curvilinear triangle’ even adults can learn new shapes!
The story itself is a straightforward read, easy for young children to follow. Coming to a cyclical end with the young girl finding her pet monster and going home, you see friendship and fun in all its lights. It’s the illustrations that grab the reader’s attention and imagination, as the compositions fill the pages well and the dynamic line makes the book come to life.