Thursday 17 March 2022

Big Boss

Big Boss by Dianne Bates, illustrated by Patricia Ward (Little Pink Dog Books) HB RRP $24.99 ISBN: 9780648964063

Reviewed by Dannielle Viera

Inspired by Max from Maurice Sendak’s beloved children’s book Where the Wild Things Are, a boy decides to take command of the monsters living in his bedroom: Creepy Critter, who ‘hides on the windowsill’; Heeby Jeeby, who hangs out in the clothes’ cupboard, and Toe Taster, who ‘likes to nibble juicy little toes’. The youngster makes the monsters dance, grovel and smile, and tells them not to bother kids anymore. ‘Yes, Mr Boss, sir,’ they respond … but is the boy really the Big Boss? Not when his mum is around!

Kids from four to twelve years of age will relate to Dianne Bates’s fiendishly funny tale. A twist on the ‘monster under the bed’ trope, the story delves into childhood anxiety and how to overcome it. By being assertive, bringing his fears into the light and making them wibble and wobble until they fall foolishly to the ground, the protagonist shows young readers that there is ‘nothing to be afraid of’ when you are the boss of your world.

Patricia Ward’s bold illustrations are dark and dramatic, perfect for a story that is largely set at night. This paves the way for a brilliant contrast when the creatures come out of hiding, as their bright colours visually diminish their potential scariness. Look out for Patricia’s monstrous moon: it is one of the most striking images in the book.

 An eye-catching tome that emboldens even the most timid of readers, Big Boss is sure to elicit giggles from the first page until the last. It leaves kids contemplating an uplifting truth: ‘You can be boss of anything.’

No comments:

Post a Comment

Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.