Book Review: Monster Maddie

A plight experienced by many school aged children extends from this question: Who will play with me? Miss Maddie, the book’s character, graples with the same question and tries different tricks on her peers in an effort to be noticed.

“She put ants in their pants, dirt in their shirts, and ooze in their shoes.”

I wonder if Maddie’s tactics will work?


Monster Maddie is Susan Stephenson‘s first published children’s picture book. Her extensive experience as a writer, teacher and blog extraordinaire (as The Book Chook), is obvious throughout the text.

Monster Maddie was published by Guardian Angel Publishing and illustrations were provided by K. C. Snider. The book is geared for ages 4 – 10 and, although a stand alone picture book, Monster Maddie would be appropriate to study in a classroom with seven pages of learning activities included.

There’s something impish and like-able about Maddie, despite her horrid antics and monster-like transformation; the fangs and claws and wild, wild hair. This like-ability factor provides a strong platform for the clever, non-preachy message within: what you do is what you become.

Maddie’s character is easy to relate to; she’s not perfect and doesn’t miraculously change; she’s real.  And do you know what? When all is said and done, there IS a positive about fangs and claws and wild, wild hair. You will have to read it for yourself to find out what.

There’s a lot to explore with Monster Maddie, each time its read.

Monster Maddy can be purchased here. Read another review here.


One Be A Fun Mum reader can win an  copy of Monster Maddie, autographed by Susan Stephenson.   To enter, please leave a comment below with an answer to this question: Was making friends at school difficult for you?

The competition is open to Australian and New Zealand residents only.  Valid from Monday 24 May to Friday 28 May 2010.  I will draw the winner by random number at 7pm on the closing date. Winner will be notified via email and posted on the Be A Fun Mum Facbook Page.

28 May 2010: Winner: Christine Bunn.  Congratulations!

Hop over to:

The Book Chook

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  • Reply
    Christine Bunn
    May 24, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    I haven’t read the book, but I can relate to the front cover as I too have wild fiery red hair. I was different , as my Mum put it ‘ you are special.’ Bullying started in year 7 for me and continued to get worse throughout my high school years, to the point of harassment. The one and only thing that gave me courage and strength to stand up to the torture was my Faith in God. I chose to believe the
    ‘truth’ that I was perfect in God’s eyes and it didn’t matter what other people thought of me. This didn’t mean I found it easy, it was a daily struggle for me, but I now praise God for blessing me with my fiery red hair.

  • Reply
    May 24, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    My daughter Madison is 3&1/2 and has fiery red hair, and the attitude to match 🙂 I might have to get her this book!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Monster Maddie!

  • Reply
    May 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Oh I just saw the question for the comp to win the book 🙂

    I found it very difficult to make friends at school purely because we moved so many times. Sometimes I felt I didn’t want friends only to lose them so quick, sometimes nobody wanted to be my friend because I was new and always a goody two shoes. I am trying to settle down with my kids so they don’t go through what I did.

  • Reply
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    May 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

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  • Reply
    May 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    My best friend at age 10 was the library. I got teased through grade 5 and up to the end of high school. I finally made a good friend at high school.

  • Reply
    Sharron Peacock
    May 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    Haven’t read this book either….would love a copy!

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  • Reply
    May 24, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Making friends was quite easy – though it seemed whenever I made a good friend they moved away and I lost touch. 🙁
    I’d love to win a copy… I’m a book junky!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    Sounds like a cute book, with a great lesson for children! Regarding friends at school, I wouldn’t say I found it difficult to make friends, but at the same time, I definitely changed myself to “fit in” and be liked. Now I look back, particularly on my teenage years, and wish I had more courage to stand up for what I believed in and not try so hard to be like everyone else.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    looks a great book.
    I also found it difficult to make friends. but I did have a small group of close friends which was good.

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I don’t ever remember having trouble making friends at school, although I seem to have trouble making friends now!

  • Reply
    May 25, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    In primary school, I was a bit of a loner. I think in many ways, I matured very early and found kids my own age not very like me. By the time I was in high school however, I knew who I was, what I believed, what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there. In grade 8, I knew which subjects i would choose and I had picked out the university I would like to attend! I found girls very stupid in high school. Very obsessed with boys. So I hung out with the boys! In senior years, I spent my time in the staff rooms!

    So I guess that making friends wasn’t easy for me in school. I’m very glad that my best friends were my sisters! I never really felt the lack.

  • Reply
    Tara Waller
    May 25, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    I was OK at making friends at school, although always felt a little uncomfortable and on the outer because we moved fairly often. I usually had a few closer friends. Would love this book to read to my own lovely little ones…:)

  • Reply
    May 26, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Great review Kelly!
    Now, my answer…
    In Primary school – easy peasy!
    In High School – I am sad to say I changed to slot in with the crowd. Not drastically, but more to not cause a wave in the never quite calm waters of high school and teenage girls!

  • Reply
    Michelle Gelston
    May 28, 2010 at 7:35 am

    I found it somewhat difficult to make friends at school. Mainly because i was very shy. I also changed school alot… went to 4 different primary schools! But i had one or two best friends, instead of alot of friends, and im still like that today :o)

  • Reply
    rachelle rogers
    May 28, 2010 at 8:57 am

    primary school i was ok with friends and still are in contact with a few of them but high school i felt lonely a lot of the time as had different interests to my friends. These days i dont have time for a long chat with friends. My 2 little girls (2 year old n a 3 month old) are my best friends!! The book sounds really good.

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