Monsters Review

Title // Monsters
Author // Anna Fienberg
Illustrators // Kim Gamble, Stephen Axelson
Publication Date // May 2018
Publisher // Allen & Unwin
Readership // Children
Genre // Fiction
Australian RRP // $24.99
Rating // ✭✭✭✭

I received a copy of Monsters from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Tildy can see monsters that no one else can see and she sleeps with one eye open, until a new friend at school helps her overcome her fear – a delightful new picture book by the popular picture-book creators of Tashi.

Tildy knew there were monsters. They sailed in from outside and hid behind the curtains. Moonlight brought them in. Tildy hated moonlight. Mum and Dad said there were no such things. Her aunt and uncle couldn’t see them, and when Tildy wrote to her twenty-three cousins about monsters, only one wrote back saying she shouldn’t eat spicy food before bedtime.

Then a new boy came to school. Hendrik drew pages and pages of monsters when the class was writing numbers. He had a way of dealing with his monsters.

When Tildy dares to stay over at Hendrik’s house, she panics when the moon rises… but together they make the night safe, and Tildy can watch the moon sail through the starry sky.


Monsters is a beautiful picture book that shows the power of friendship in conquering fears.

Tidy is a little girl who sees monsters everywhere once the sun goes down at night. Her fear stops her from sleeping at night and the lack of acknowledgement from her family members makes her feel miserable all the time. When she makes a new friend at school, he shows her a new way of looking at her monsters, and Tildy finds a way to get through the night without fear.

This gorgeous little book can be interpreted in so many different ways for children – as all the best books can. Tildy is a tough little girl who tries to find solutions to her fears by asking the adults around her only to be met with disbelief or dismissal, which causes her to internalise her fears. It takes the courage of trusting her new friend to help her see past her fears and even finding compassion for them to help her overcome them, which is a great message for young readers.

The illustrations are wonderful, too. As Kim Gamble’s final book, it’s a lovely testament to his skill as an illustrator, as well as Stephen Axelsen, for the way the story is conveyed through this quirky and whimsical style with monsters that could be frightening or intriguing. Anna Fienberg’s storytelling is beautiful and easy to read, and reminiscent of conversations that children would actually have with both adults and their peers.

This would be a great book to read with children who are working on ways to overcome their own fears.

I gave Monsters 4 out of 5 stars.

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