Billy and the Mini Monsters #1: Monsters in the Dark; Zanna Davidson, illustrated by Melanie Williamson
Billy and the Mini Monsters is part of the Usborne Young Reading series and form a series of stories about Billy and the mini-monsters that live in his sock draw. There are currently eleven stories in the series with another title due out later in 2021. The books can be read in any order but Monsters in the Dark is the first one and shows how the mini-monsters appear in Billy’s room for the very first time.
Night-time means bedtime. And bedtime is when Billy starts to imagine being visited by the terrible trolls, blood-sucking gizzlers, shadow skulkers, fang-busting zombies, bone-rattling ghosts and eight-eyed snappertraps. Billy is desperately trying to stay awake so he can make sure that he won’t be visited by the creatures of the dark but heavy eyed and snuggled under the warm duvet, it isn't long until he is sound asleep.
Not everyone is asleep though, in fact some things are vey much awake and the dark is the perfect time to cause mayhem and mischief. Billy awakens to find purple footprints on his bookcase, a half-eaten cheese sandwich, a nibbled school tie and some very stinky smells coming out of his sock drawer. His parents have assured him that there aren’t any monsters lurking in his bedroom but all the evidence suggests otherwise. Can Billy uncover the mystery and work out what on earth is responsible for the strange happenings in his bedroom…
Monsters in the Dark is a funny read that is perfect for emerging and newly independent readers. Told over six short chapters, this is a great book for children that are building up their reading stamina. The engaging text and bright, colourful illustrations make for a very enjoyable read and a dual narrative ensures the story is easy to follow. Billy’s story is written in paragraphs of text and the mini-monsters story is told through a comic strip. At the back of the book are character profiles of all of the mini-monsters where they reveal their likes, their special skill and their scare factor.
It is totally normal to be scared of the dark and Billy, like lots of children, has this fear. With the help of the mini-monsters, Billy learns that the dark is nothing to be afraid of. Zanna Davidson's light-hearted exploration of fears and anxieties will support children in understanding that stepping out of their comfort zone is part of the journey in overcoming fears.
Finding cute and colourful monsters hiding in your sock draw sounds awesome and these five funny monsters are anything but scary. With their peculiar and disgusting habits they will become best friends of many a young reader. Delightful!
Recommended for 6+.