Monkfish Maggie is a tale for children but it is quite different from the usual stories featuring talking animals (although there is a talking bird) or with children as the main characters. As the narrator of the tale says: “Children’s books don’t necessarily have to include children, just like fancy recipe books don’t necessarily have to include anything particularly edible.” Our heroine Maggie is a woman in her 70s and comes home from shopping one day to find stairs in the bungalow she shares with husband Nesbitt. Odd enough since, as everyone knows, “a bungalow is a house that has been squashed by giants. Upstairs is downstairs.” but these stairs have burst through Maggie’s roof and stretch as far as the eye can see into the sky. Even worse, Maggie’s husband is missing and with his walking stick at the bottom of the stairs, there is only one place he can be. Maggie has no option but to start to climb the mysterious stairs and try to discover what is at the top and what has happened to her husband.
This book is full of all the elements that make for a great story especially one that will appeal to children. There is adventure and danger, challenges to overcome and a touch of mystery and there is lots of humour. Reading as an adult, I found plenty that made me laugh such as “walking upstairs isn’t a thing that normal people like to do. If you enjoy walking upstairs then you should go and see a doctor at once.” I liked that the narrator spoke directly to the children reading the book and think that is a great way of making them feel a part of the story. It read like a modern day fairy tale, an age old story of good versus evil but with a modern twist – no princesses, knights or dragons here!
I must just mention the striking illustrations too. There are over 50 illustrations painted by Norwegian Berg Norcross and they are really eyecatching. I read this on my Kindle paperwhite so the illustrations were black and white but this didn’t detract from what they added to the story. As you can see from the ones I have added throughout the review, in full colour they are rather beautiful.
I think that there is a lot in this book which will appeal to all ages. It’s one that I would have enjoyed reading to my own children when they were younger and one I know they would have enjoyed listening too. A quirky and unusual story with something for everyone to enjoy.
My thanks to the author for asking me to read and review his book. Monkfish Maggie and the Bungalow Stairs was published on 27 May 2016 and you can order a copy here: Monkfish Maggie
From the back of the book
“Maggie stepped forward and rubbed her eyes in disbelief – how was this possible? A giant stone staircase stood in front of her, climbing high up through an ugly hole that had appeared in the ceiling. Maggie strained her eyes and looked for the end of the staircase, but it climbed and climbed into the darkness of the loft.”
When Maggie returns home from the market one spectacularly normal day, two things in particular strike her as strange.
• Firstly, a rather peculiar set of stairs have sprouted from her otherwise stairless bungalow.
• Secondly, and probably most concerning of all, her husband Nesbitt is nowhere to be found…
Where is Nesbitt? Why have these extraordinary stairs appeared – and more importantly, what lies beyond them? Evil? Good? Monsters? Head lice?!
Join Maggie as she searches low, high and even higher for Nesbitt, in an intriguing debut adventure that will captivate children and adults alike.
Love stairs? This story is for you!
Hate stairs? It’s for you as well!
Don’t care either way? Me neither – have yourself a read!
Written by CatchphraseDan and bursting with over 50 enchanting illustrations by the mystical Berg Norcross, Monkfish Maggie and the Bungalow Stairs will dunk you deep into a barrel of mystery and then wring you dry like a limp blue flannel. Sit yourself down and open your mind hole, because this story is coming at you…