Friday, October 19, 2012

It's Not a Monster, It's Me! by Raymond McGrath

Some time ago I introduced a friend and old colleague of mine - Raymond McGrath - with his exquisitely illustrated book The Great Rescue Race. It gives me great pleasure to feature Ray again, this time with his newest book It's Not a Monster, It's Me!


It's Not a Monster, It's Me! is a truly delightful story about a monster named Sebastian... 


who has more than a little difficulty making friends.


Life is not easy for Sebastian. No one wants to sit next to him in class, read stories with him, eat their lunch with him, or play games with him; he just looks too scary.

Now, meet Alex:


She sees the world a little differently to her classmates.


And one day Alex does something unTHINKable!


Alex's daring move leads to some entertaining scenes (including a very endearing emotional response from Sebastian) that conclude in a very satisfying, circular way. It's Not a Monster, It's Me! is, in my opinion, Ray's best book yet and a huge achievement. Ray combines the strengths that come from his background in traditional hand-drawn animation with the modern digital age to create beautiful, detailed illustrations. All the illustrations begin on paper in the old-fashioned way, but are finished digitally using multiple layers to create depth and texture. The end result is very appealing, and I think this book is something special - it has that rare magical combination of being extremely well written and skillfully illustrated. It also has a very important lesson within it, told in a delightful way.
My daughter, who at nearly four, is obsessed with monsters, takes great pleasure in this book and loves the Sing along with Sebastian CD that is included - yes, Ray is one those people that gives everything a go! It's great fun, and adds even more charm to the very likable Sebastian. Ray is working on a music video too. It’s going to be an old-school style, handmade paper cut-out, stop motion extravaganza…I absolutely can't wait to see it! If you would like to learn more about Ray and see more of his never-ending talents, head over to his website TheOneTrickPony. It appears this guy doesn't sleep?
  
It's Not a Monster, It's Me! by Raymond McGrath
Published by Penguin Books (NZ)
ISBN 13: 9780143505525
ISBN 10: 0143505521
Imprint: PUFFIN 
Published: 26 Sep 2012

A huge thanks to Ray and Penguin Books (NZ) for allowing Kitty as a Picture to review this book.

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