Disgusting McGrossface by Rove McManus

cover image

Scholastic Australia, 2019. ISBN: 9781760665357. hbk.
(Age: 4-8 Recommended. Themes: Monsters, Habits, Mythical creatures, Personal hygiene. The child who tells this story has a very fertile imagination and uses it to go into amazing detail to explain to his parents that there is a monster at work who has left muddy footprints in the house. Young readers will empathize with the main character who is trying to hide the fact that he has made the mess. It is highly entertaining for young children who will love the revolting things included in the story.
The monster's lifestyle forms the detail in this story, from the fact that he doesn't bathe to his collections of snot-filled tissues, dirty undies and ear wax statues. Young children find the gross details hilarious, however as an adult I would have left a few of them out because I think some may have been added to pad out the book; but it is written for children and it will entertain a class when read aloud. When I first received this book to review my immediate reaction was to wonder why publishers continue to support celebrities whose books are not usually as good as some others by lesser known authors. In fact, on my first reading I was not a fan of the book at all but after reading it to a class and to a young child I changed my opinion and could see how the book appeals to children but not all adults.
The illustrations, also done by McManus, are colourful and full of fabulous detail. The use of bold text throughout will assist those reading it to emphasize certain important words and make the reading more enjoyable. The rhyming works well but I would recommend reading it through a few times to get the rhythm to work when reading aloud. All in all, a grossly enjoyable read.
Gabrielle Anderson