Billy and the Mini Monsters Series
This series is one of our daughter Floss’s favourites. She’s loved them since she was around four years old and still adores them now aged six.
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Billy and the Mini Monsters are published by Usborne, written by Zanna Davidson and illustrated by Melanie Williamson. I describe these as a hybrid between picture books and chapter books with a spoonful of graphic novel thrown in for good measure. They are highly readable and oodles of fun.
If you’d like to find out more about this type of book and others like it head to my blog post – Reading Chapter Books – What to Read after Picture Books?
Awesome Appeal – Billy and the Mini Monsters
Billy and the Mini Monsters appeal to so many children (and adults – I think they’re superb).
As you can see from these inside images, the text is a good size, the paragraphs are well spaced out and the illustrations help to develop comprehension alongside the reading of new vocabulary in a structured way. This combination makes Billy and the Mini Monster books look very inviting for early readers.
The volume of words on the page also allows children to feel confident in the reading pace of the book and less likely to ‘give-up’ due to the amount of words needed to be read per page.
Graphic Novel Style
One aspect that I believe firmly appeals to so many children is that the books are interspersed with graphic novel/ comic style strips to tell the story. It’s often when we get the BEST monster action.
These sections can be read relatively quickly and therefore give children the satisfying feeling of achieving the act of reading a book at pace.
Billy and the Mini Monsters Adventures
There’s a range of adventures that Billy and his monsters go on and they are set in ‘real life’ opportunities children may find themselves in such as going to school, a party or swimming. Everyday settings where extraordinary things happens are so exciting for young children. There are also a couple of holiday books including a Halloween edition and a Christmas one.
The first book in the series – Monsters in the Dark – is where we first meet the mini monsters. We made sure to read this one during the day and not at night. This is due to the fact Floss can be quite a sensitive soul.
Billy discovers the monsters in the dark at bedtime and he’s a little worried when he thinks there is something in the dark (hence the reason we read it in the day to Floss).
This worry is soon dispelled when we realise that the mini monsters are actually super cute, totally fun and helpful – even if sometimes their help goes a little awry.
This is a theme that echoes throughout all of the books as we discover the latest antics of Billy and his loveable monsters.
You don’t have to read the books in order as you get enough of a recap at the start of each book but it is quite nice to be able to follow on in chronology.
Billy and the Mini Monsters – Monsters Go To Hospital
We were very kindly sent a copy of the latest release – Billy and the Mini Monsters – Monsters Go To Hospital by Usborne. Floss has spent quite a bit of time in hospitals and so this book was ideal for her. It actually arrived on a week where she’d been at the hospital for half the week – perfect timing!
Monsters Go To Hospital tells the story of Billy needing to go to hospital to have an operation to have his tonsils and adenoids out; a procedure Floss has had done.
Floss was delighted to see Billy making friends with a child in a wheelchair in the story stating – look Mommy – they have a wheelchair like me. Representation in books matters to our children!
Books for Hospitals
This would be the ideal book to read with a child who needs to go to hospital. Maybe you could make your own mini monsters and smuggle them in. Floss loves to make the puppets from the Usborne activity page.
If you are having to go to hospital with your child you may find this leaflet from Usborne and Cambridge hospital a useful resources.
Billy and the Mini Monsters – New Release Coming Soon…
The next book in the series is due out in March 2023. Even though Floss will be able to read more advanced books by this time I’m confident that she’ll want a copy of Billy and the Mini Monsters – Monsters on a Sleepover.
As your child’s reading ability grows it’s important to still value the reading choices your child makes. Familiarity with texts brings with it confidence.
It allows children to try out new skills they have learnt such as fluency, intonation and expression in a secure way.
More importantly familiar books bring JOY. Reading for pleasure matters and is the key to help children develop a life long love of reading.