Posted 20 hours ago

Little Monsters

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This monstrously exciting new picture book from bestselling author David Walliams, brilliantly illustrated by Adam Stower is a bright, fun, laugh-out-loud book with a cool message about celebrating individuality. Sure, it gives them something to bond over, but I’m just very, very over it and it’s a primary reason why I so often stick to YA and fantasy… there are fewer pregnancies over there. Inspired by the archetypal story of Cain and Abel, Little Monsters is a kaleidoscopic, propulsive, and sophisticated drama exquisite with the tension of characters careening in and out of one another’s orbits, alternately sharing and withholding secrets from one another and themselves—and with Cape Cod’s magnificence and hidden corners elevating every page.

The voices in his head, which had been passing through for several weeks, seemed to have taken up permanent residency. I’ve always been obsessed with sibling dynamics and fiction on family dramas, this one really delivers.

Beyond these professional accomplishments, he was a Vietnam veteran who had single-handedly raised his two children after his beloved first wife, Emily, died suddenly at the age of thirty. Now as Adam’s 70th birthday approaches, Ken and Abby have to confront secrets they’re both keeping and as it turns out, they aren’t the only ones. Emotions run high and low on these pages and there are lots of pieces and parts to this complex family puzzle.

Exiting the pharmacy, white prescription bags tucked under his arm, Adam felt giddy at having outmaneuvered his odiously smug new doctor. I devoured Little Monsters and I believe it is going to be one of those rare books that both literary readers and escapist readers can equally enjoy. I loved the descriptions of Jenny’s exquisite flower garden and the part when Adam was on his boat and his beloved whales surfaced on cue.

This book has a beautiful message for young readers about being yourself and finding your people while still being funny and engaging. I don't know which part I liked best—the father's virtuoso ramblings on whale songs, the daughter's art, the son's self-justifications, the kick-ass half-sister, the party that blows sky high, or the fact that I got to toggle between one and the other and see things from all sides. That was a time that put pressure on everything, emphasized the little cracks and widened them into chasms. Ken is a wealthy and successful businessman with a perfect family, and Abby is a bohemian artist living off a meager teaching salary and her brother’s goodwill. Here you'll find an authentic reflection of how day-to-day life moves forward, often slowly because real life takes time and getting to know the characters always lead to a better experience.

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