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The Stepmonster ISBN: 9781405275415
Ceulemans, Eglantine and Nadin, Joanna
Published by Egmont, 2015
This brilliant little beginner reading book (a Blue Banana) is about Tom, an unusual lad with a liking for moles, manatees, and woodlice! He also has one blue eye and one green and a birthmark that looks like a bee on his bottom! He and his lovely dad live together, and he doesn't miss his mum much as she has run off to the circus. Into this unusual menage, there comes Lulu, Tom's dad's new girlfriend, and Tom is horrified and seriously frightened. He twigs that dad may make her his stepmother, and he knows all about stepmothers from the stories he's been told - they are horrid and mean and cruel - stepmonsters, in fact. Tom doesn't want anything to do with her and refuses to believe that she could be nice and kind and beautiful like dad says. His first impressions are slightly favourable because she brings him sweets and a game and a stone 'shaped like a horse's head. ' 'That afternoon Tom and Lulu ate 127 chocolate raisins'. He begins to become more amenable when they visit the zoo, and do lots of interesting things together, but after 'a hundred Sundays' Tom finds himself with a really truly stepmother, and he hasn't been - so far - able to find any fault with her. It takes him another 373 days and 17 hours to admit that she's wonderful and the best stepmother ever. However, when she says how pleased she is, she also tells him that he's to have a new baby brother or sister. Oh dear! This sets him off again because all his friends tell him that their siblings are 'monsters'! This is the perfect ending, and we know he will adjust to this new possibility as well. The story has lots of humour and fun, and the brilliant illustrations are a treat as well. Tom needs lots of persuasion, but we know he is in the happiest of situations and are happy for him. Super!
Age: 5+