The Boy who Made Monsters

Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Katie Kear

This is another funny, heart-warming book from the talented author of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, and was a part of the Reading for Empathy collection last year (2023).

Benji and Stanley have to move to live with their Uncle Hamish in Scotland following the death of their parents. The brothers cope with their loss in different ways and whilst thirteen year old Stanley is moody and miserable, Benji buries his feelings deeply, bouncing along full of hope and new ideas. When he finds out that his uncle’s holiday business is struggling Benji comes up with a plan to find the Loch Lochy monster and attract more visitors to the area.

I loved this book. Written with illustrations, it is honest, funny and optimistic. The grief each boy feels is dealt with sensitively and I liked how it shows children that you can be sad whilst having fun at the same time. It would be a good book for a child who has suffered a bereavement as well as a great read in its own right.

Published by Usborne Books, 2023 (352 pages)

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton