Tag Archives: families

The Loch Mess Monster

26 Jul

18118587The Loch Mess Monster written by Helen Lester and illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (2014)

The tales of a Loch Ness Monster in Scotland are not true… there is not one monster, but three! Nessie, Fergus, and the youngest Angus. Nessie and Fergus were very responsible parents teaching little Angus the five basic monster rules, the most important was to Nevereverever go up to the surface of the loch. Angus learned all the rules, and followed them well. Well, except for the rule about cleaning up after yourself. Angus was a bit of a slob. So Nessie and Fergus banned Angus to his room until he learned to pick up his things and be tidy. Angus didn’t seem to mind though, he threw his toys everywhere and eventually made a mountain of toys and trash on top of his bed so that he had to climb up to the top to sleep. The problem didn’t come until Angus found himself on top of his mountain raising above the surface of the loch. Meanwhile, three friends – a duck, a goat, and a Heeland coo (Highland cow) focused their camera, binoculars, and telescope on Angus. ‘What a mess!’ they exclaimed. ‘It’s nae the Loch Ness Monster. ‘Tis the Loch MESS Monster.’  And on seeing the three land monsters, Angus hurried down his mountain of toys and trash and cleaned up his room.

Helen Lester has written another winner in The Loch Mess Monster. Readers will enjoy the authentic Scottish words scattered throughout the story. And if you ever get stuck, there is a glossary at the front of the book. Imagining that the loch ness monster might be a naughty child is very intriguing indeed.

Lynn Munsinger has teamed up with Helen Lester again and has produced another character readers can identify with. Her style is innocent and whimsical. And the details in the illustrations give the reader more to search for while reading the story.

I can identify with the monster who has a mountain of unorganized (but very necessary) items. It gives me hope that I will someday have my mountain under control as well. But what I really like is that even though Angus learns to pick up after himself, he still leaves a very wee mess now and then so that his parents don’t think he’s perfect. Smart, very smart… no one needs those high expectations!


Mama, Let’s Make a Moon

15 Oct


Sometimes you find just what you need.  While looking for a newly published book to add to my blog,  I came across this simple text and beautiful artwork published this year.  I was browsing my local library the week before taking a trip to the Appalachian Mountains for a cousin’s wedding, who coincidentally is also named Clay, and was struck by the timeliness of it.  Then while browsing the internet for a book cover for this post, I also found a youtube video by Clay Rice himself singing and talking about how he made this book, posted just two days ago.

Clay Rice tells a tale in verse of an Appalachian family living a tiny cabin, who make something out of nothing but their imagination and love for each other.  It is beautifully written and illustrated.  The back cover proclaims, “Clay Rice is considered by many collectors to be the finest silhouette artist in the world.”

My favorite line:  “We’ll stuff it with silly, and marshmallow goo, and paint it with promise: Mama, let’s make a moon.”  It makes me want to go right out and make a moon with my little ones.  Because really, except for the silly and the marshmallow goo, all we really have to give is promise.

Take a look at this video and I’m sure you’ll be just as captivated by the magic of the story as I am.

If you have found this post to be ‘just what you needed’ please leave me a comment.  I would love to hear from you!

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