Jerry Pinto’s Monster Garden is a difficult to classify book, being a mix of Nonsense verses and a D(raw)IY Picture Book. Starting with a physical description of who Jerry Pinto is, in the same nonsensical verse, the book heads into a garden which monsters inhabit.
Monsters, did I say? Well yes, monstrous nonsense words that fit in perfectly into the parts of speech of the language. What are the monsters present in the garden? A Scrumpeelious, a Sharmistickle, a Chuppertyhoover and more.
There is even a food chain here with the Chuppertyhoover eating only Asumptivets. How to get Asumptivets? There is a recipe outlined, try it, will you?
Go on and you find more creatures, including a poster containing the Monster hall of Fame.
Priya Kuriyan, the illustrator of the book: Who be she? Again, the book has a whimsical answer.
If you are looking for a definite storyline or a plot, well, this adventure is not in the plot but in the words. Set out on this adventure to see if you enjoy it!
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- Nonsense verses excite me. Carroll’s Jabberwocky was the first experience. In the last year or so, when I came across Shalini Srinivasan‘s research on Nonsense literature, it got triggered again. I discovered Shel Silverstein. As I was wondering if there were Indian attempts at this genre, Deepa Agarwal’s Spinning Yarns enlightened me of the existence of translated works of the Bengali Poet Sukumar Ray. Jerry Pinto adds to the sparse collection of Indian Writing in this genre and I am glad that he did that.
- Priya Kuriyan‘s illustrations need no introduction. Given such an exciting premise, she has given free rein to her imagination to give form to the monstery creatures with panache – be it their bubblinky eyes, or Jerry Pinto’s toes of prawns. The colourful cover page captures one’s attention.
- Scattered across the garden are Draw-It-Yourself tasks — like writing your recipe for Moobie Pie or drawing a Groover with a Floover — which would delight creative minds.
- The poster that accompanies the book containing the Monster Garden’s hall of Fame is a Must-Have addition to every child’s niche.
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- Am I wrong to expect such a creation to be entirely in colours? It would definitely have made the book much more attractive to pick up.
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- Why were there no nonsense verbs? I found mostly nouns and some adjectives.
A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Duckbill in return for an honest review. Thanks Duckbill.