cover image Nelly the Monster Sitter: Grerks, Squurms and Water Greeps

Nelly the Monster Sitter: Grerks, Squurms and Water Greeps

Kes Gray, illus. by Stephen Hanson. Razorbill, $7.99 paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-59514-259-7

Petronella (Nelly) Morton has an unusual life%E2%80%94by choice. Her interests lie in "gunky, slimy, spiky stuff that other people can find scary or hair raising." In other words: monsters. With the support of her parents (and to the horror of her twin sister, Asti), Nelly spends her free time baby-sitting monsters such as Glug (a prized pet "gog" that runs away), Slop (a Squurm who always wins at any game) and Plip, Plop and Seaview (the mischievous Water Greep brothers). Keeping high-energy monsters safe and entertained is not always easy, and Nelly encounters her fair share of trouble, as well as fun, in these three episodes. Gray's (Eat Your Peas) evocative vocabulary will likely best be enjoyed by younger readers with an appreciation for the absurd (" %E2%80%98Our son's name is Slop gloogle,' glugged the Squurm. %E2%80%98Slopgloogle or just Slop?' asked Nelly"). But beyond the goofball antics, these amusing and lighthearted stories promote the belief that following one's passion and resisting the norm is the best way to be happy and challenged. Ages 9%E2%80%9411. (Aug.)