Illustrations – Chris Jevons
‘If monsters are real, how come I’ve never seen one?’ said Nelly.
‘Because they never go out,’ said her dad.
‘Why don’t monsters ever go out?’ said Nelly.
‘Because they can never get a babysitter,’ said her dad.
So Nelly becomes “Nelly the Monster Sitter!”, which is pretty much everything you imagine it is. Think The Baby-Sitters Club except it’s just Nelly, not a club, and she babysits monsters, not kids; although to be fair, some of the kids the BSC looked after were more monstrous than the monsters in this book. Nelly even keeps a record of her monster sitting experiences, just like the BSC girls did.
Nelly’s parents are comfortable with her monster sitting although her twin sister Asti, like many people, is afraid of monsters. Although fun and lighthearted, this book does have a subtle commentary underlining it about acceptance of those who don’t look like you and finding friendships with amazing people/monsters that others are too scared to get to know.
The Grerks at No. 55 is the first in the series so introduces Nelly and her family and sets the scene for future books. The only thing that had me a little squirmy about its inclusion was when Nelly glues millions of fleas to the wall, gets her friends to paint over the still alive but stuck fleas and calls it decorating.
The monsters in this book are imaginative and easy to picture, especially when the descriptions are paired with lovely illustrations that bring the monsters to life. I’m interested to see what adventures Nelly experiences when she knocks on the doors of her future monster customers.
Once Upon a Blurb
Ever played catch with a six-legged Gog, or made pancakes with an oozy orange Squurm? Every time Nelly rings on a new monster family’s doorbell she’s up for a new challenge. Come on her monster-sitting adventures in this laugh-out-loud funny first book in the series.