Blog tour: ‘My Monster and Me,’ by Nadiya Hussain, illustrated by Ella Bailey.

I think that in the current climate of uncertainty, school closures and social lockdown, there must be plenty of children worried about what is going to happen and when they’ll be able to play outside and see their friends again.  Books provide such fantastic opportunities for conversations about all sorts of worries, so I’m always glad to see a new one being published.

As a lifelong sufferer of a panic disorder, Nadiya has written this story to give parents and children the tools they need to talk, so that no one has to suffer in silence.

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This little boy’s worry monster is always with him – when he’s trying to sleep, when he wants to go out and play with his friends, when he’s trying to get dressed. Slowly but surely, it’s stopping him from getting on with his life.

One day, it becomes too much and the little boy talks to his grandma. Almost immediately he starts to feel better. His worry monster seems to become more manageable. Could it be that he’s finally found a way to tame the beast?

This simple but engaging story highlights some of the many ways that worries could be impacting upon a child’s life. Seeing these in a story they’re reading may just open up a conversation about these, or at least provide some comfort in the fact that they’re not alone in being concerned about things.

I think it’s so important that stories like these offer a solution to the problem they’re highlighting – in this case being anxious about things. Children need to recognise that there are steps they can take to help make themselves feel better and that the people around them may just be able to help.

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I loved Ella Bailey’s vibrant, sunny illustrations which add a touch of reassurance and warmth to what is, at the start, a story full of woes.

Highly accessible to even the littlest of readers, I would recommend this for anyone aged 3+

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Hachette Children’s for sending me this title to review and inviting me to be part of the blog tour. Make sure you look at some of the other stops too!*

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