We just finished reading “My Monster Burrufu and wow! We loved it! This is truly a book that delivers the message, “never judge a book by its cover.” Targeted for children between 9 and 12, it still captured the imagination of my five-year-old and had my 18 year old joining us at night to hear the story of Olivia and her monster, Burrufu.
Seven-year-old Olivia has just moved to a new house — the same house where a lonely monster named Burrufu lives hidden in a secret attic. One night, unable to resist the smell of delicious cookies, Burrufu sneaks out and is discovered by Olivia. The two soon learn that you can find friendship in the most unexpected places. ‘My Monster Burrufu’ is a story of overcoming fear, a curse, and a most unusual monster which learns how to trust his heart from a little girl.
From the first page, we were smitten with Olivia and her father. They have a dynamic relationship, and the story begins with the two of them leaving the city behind and making a fresh new start in a three-story house on the outskirts. Olivia is, like my own seven-year-old, curious. She is also a baker of cookies, which proves to be the perfect bait for a monster and the foundation of an unlikely friendship.
While I’m not sure I’m fond of the idea of a seven-year-old being left alone while their father goes to work, the actual message is that we should see people for who they are, not how they look. It’s a lesson that even in the next generation is relevant. We’ve been discussing this topic a lot at our house, and My Monster Burrufu is a subtle vision of why.
Throughout the book, we witness Burrufu trying to alienate Olivia, and to do this; he uses a scare tactic. Seven year old’s are smart, and Olivia sees the good in Burrufu. She is determined to be his friend and giggles at his attempts to be frightening. Eventually, it breaks Burrufu’s desire for solitude, and the two develop a beautiful friendship.
I love that this book gives a glimpse to children that even adults make mistakes and feel better apologizing for them. It’s a powerful realization not only for children but also for adults to recognize.
My children all hovered around to look at the illustrations. They are simple yet beautiful. They depict the storyline coming to life thanks to Alessandra Sorrentino (The Secret of Kells) through the subtle images that give a glimpse of a girl and her seven-foot monster. Visit the My Monster Burrufu website to see some examples of the illustrations.
The detail is wonderful, written by Alberto Corral (Kung Fu Panda 2 and Shrek Forever After). My kiddos loved the characters and rolled their eyes, just like Olivia, every time the character Mark entered. It was great to see them experiencing this book rather than just reading it.
My Monster Burrufu is one of the few books we have had to set a rule in reading. At one time in the course of our nightly reading, each of us snatched the book and read ahead of the others. While I was grateful my children (and me) were so interested in how the story ended, we had to establish that we all read this book together. Believe me; it was difficult because the story is so enchanting!
This was also the first book that when the last word was read, my children exclaimed, “I don’t want it to end!”
This book is a wonderful story of friendship, telling the truth, and loving people (and monsters) for who they are. We highly recommend My Monster Burrufu!