Thursday, February 9, 2017

Groggle's Monster Valentine - a bookwrap

Monster's come in all shapes and sizes.  They are all different colours and all have different temperaments.   This is a charming Valentine's story about an adorable little monster who is creating the perfect Valentine ( a true labour of love)  for his beast friend in the whole wide world.  Enjoy.  I guarantee you will.  


"Groggle's Monster Valentine"

By Diana Murray
Illustrated by Bats Langley 

Ages 3-6
Sky Pony Press
Hardcover and ebook format

Unwrapping some very sweet illustrations...

About the book...

I know you will fall in love in Groggle.  I took one look at him and wanted to hug him tight.  What a sweetie.  He is staying up all  night and creating the perfect Valentine's card for his beast friend, Snarlina.  

He enters deep into the dark forest to forage for the precise materials he needs to make this happen.  He discovers the right heart-shaped leaves, he gathers up bog slime and uses bold, gooey letters to write poetry to her from his heart.  He then stands back and ogles his work.  His Monster appetite suddenly awakens and .... gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp!  Snarlina's masterpiece disappears into his tummy.  Oh my!

 He embellishes his love notes with skunk flowers, snake bows, and sprinkles of shiny beetle glitter. His untamed internal monster keeps snapping up his love poems each time he completes another one... gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp!  His instincts overtake him post-poems and time is running through the hour glass.  What is a little Monster to do?  He did have the best of intentions, he truly did.  He wanted to surprise Snarlina with his endearing endeavours but he has only a tiny morsel left to present to her now. Will Snarlina receive his sad, tattered remnant with disdain and scorn or heartfelt joy?  

This charming story is one of love and friendship. The Monsters are sweet, relatable, and non-threatening.  The illustrations are truly amazing. The rich dark colour pallet and splendid detail will have readers coming back again and again ... gobble, crunch, crunch, slurp... begging for seconds and thirds for sure.  I loved the book and highly recommend it.  

Storywraps rating...  5 HUGS ++++ and beyond!!!!.......

About the author...

Diana Murray writes poetry and books for children. Her award-winning poems have appeared in magazines including Spider, Ladybug, Highlights, and High Five. Diana recently moved from the Bronx to a nearby suburb, where she lives with her husband, two very messy children, and a goldfish named Pickle. 

More from Diana:

"I moved here with my family from Ukraine when I was two years old and became a citizen when I was nine. I have lived all over New York City from Coney Island to Manhattan and Queens. I spent much of my childhood drawing, dreaming of a backyard, and making up stories. My first job was at a sock store  called “Leg Room”. Using my employee discount, I developed quite an impressive sock collection. In college, I was especially interested in child psychology and art. After graduating, I spent many years as a graphic designer and art director, most recently working in the fashion industry (at Theory). I did lots of brainstorming for different concepts. This included photographing clothes hanging from trees and street signs, creating design-it-yourself gift wrapping, and laying out look books for every season. I believe my experience with design helps make me a more visual writer. I discovered a renewed passion for writing while reading picture books with my first daughter. I became smitten with picture books for their simplicity, humor, philosophical depth and unique interplay of words and pictures. I especially love writing in rhyming verse, which feels like solving a puzzle in the best possible way. Also, nothing beats that special moment of closeness you get when you share a book with a child".

About the illustrator...

 Bats Langley grew up in the dark and perilous countryside of New England. He spent the halcyon days of his youth surrounded by many eccentric pets and relatives, who greatly influence his work to this very day. When Mister Langley was six years old, he was given an honorable mention at the Putnam County Fair for his artistic crayon on construction paper opus, entitled Grandma's Despair. This early success ignited his passion for further artistic pursuits.

Mr. Langley continued his artistic studies and graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. His art has been shown in galleries in New York City, Los Angeles, Hangzhou China, as well as in the United States Capitol building. Mr. Langley has done work for Triumph Publishing and also has shown regularly in Ladybug and Spider magazines. Mr. Langley's art will be part of the Napolean Complexity show this fall, at the AFA Galleries in both Soho NYC and Los Vegas. Mr. Langley's illustrative picture book debut, Groggle's Monster Valentine, is coming out in January of 2017, written by best-selling children's book author Diana Murray, and published by Sky Pony Press.

Today, Mr. Langley lives in a tiny, but spectacular apartment in the shadow of the Chelsea Hotel on the island of Manhattan, with his fiancé Nicholas, and their two plants, Lily and Idina. There you will find Mister Langley drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, cooking and watching owls swoop in his backyard, which live in sanctuary on a neighbor's roof. He enjoys ghost stories, biology, medical curiosities, hoaxes, Dutch painting, museum visits, oddities, theater, fashion, old movies and collecting preserved skeletons of extinct animalia. 

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It's a wrap.

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