Monster Party (Children of Rawa Community School, with Jane Godwin and Alison Lester, Magabala)
Alison Lester and Jane Godwin have proven yet again that collaborating with children can help realise joyous storytelling and delightful illustrations. Monster Party is a picture book made with the children from Rawa Community School (one of the most rural of the 14 Aboriginal Independent Community Schools in Western Australia) which Alison and Jane visited in 2017. The playful rhyme introduces the monsters created and illustrated by the children. The rhyme also tells the story of how they emerge from under the ground to have a party at Dora Lake and terrorise the community. The colourful stamped paint illustrations perfectly match the simple and upbeat couplets dispelling all fear and leaving only joy as the children tell the monsters, ‘Back you go, under the ground!’ And off they creep, ‘without a sound’. Monster Party is sure to find a well-loved home across age groups, from toddlers to primary-aged children. A useful jumping off point for group activities and classroom discussions—including interactive storytelling and learning about remote Indigenous communities—this is a picture book that belongs in schools, libraries and households alike.
Michael Earp is a children’s bookseller at The Little Bookroom