We took this book for a weekend trip as part of weekend and leisure read. Not only the child finished the book in one go (on a long drive), but also later the book kept me hooked as the story is interesting, hilarious and set in a period setting of Victorian time.
The Ice Monster written by David Walliams, the popular TV personality, judge, swimmer brings on an interesting take on simple narratives set in a particular time frame.
The Ice Monster is set in 1899 (yes over a hundred and eighteen years ago) and has illustrations by Tony Ross that bring out the feel of that time.
Elsie an orphan is a spunky and gritty girl who is determined to change her future. She escapes from an orphanage and lands up in a museum. The people around her are nice and some not at all nice, yet this doesn’t bother her as she believes in herself to be the sturdy girl who can face anything. There is no room for pity and it is brilliant how her character is portrayed.
She encounters with a cleaning woman Dotty, at the museum who takes special interest in Elsie and is motherly and protective about her, so does the young girl meet up with an eccentric professor who has set up a secret laboratory in the cellar in the museum, to do weird experiments and manages to come out with lightening in a bottle.
Taking their advantage of innocence and willingness and a bit of complete understanding of the experiments, both Elsie and Dotty take part to bring a caged ice mammoth to life through lightening,
The characters are explained in the beginning of the book, the scenes are well etched out. We also liked that some scenes that are set in darkness or nights are written on darker pages bringing it a different feel.
(Photograph by Mums and Stories). ( Photographs are subject to copyright).
The fonts as typical of David Walliams books are different especially when it comes to sounds, impact like for example, “Elsie nodded, picked up the meteorite and plunged down to the icy water. SPLOSH! “UH”!she exclaimed. ” The fonts become bigger when it comes to sounds or explaining what happened as this is interesting for the young mind who is reading the book to absorb the story and imaginative scenes.
We do feel the book could have been little bit shortened in the story length format but nevertheless it is a good read for nine year olds to twelve.
It’s humorous too and the illustrations be it on maps, depeicting the Queen, London city, attire worn by people bring that period into life.
The book is published by HarperCollins India and is available – here
Mums and Stories gives it a 4.5 on 5 and we are eager to read more of David Walliams books. We will keep you posted for more reviews.
(Reshma Krishnamurthy reviewed the book on behalf of Mums and Stories. You can reach or the team at firstname.lastname@example.org)