Author: Alberto Corral
Illustrator: Alessandra Sorrentino
Year published: First published in 2011
Publisher: Petite Grande Idee
Number of pages: 85
Recommended age: 7+
Daughter Rating: ★★★★½
Son Rating: ★★★★★
Grown-up Rating: ★★★★½
Reviewed by: Renee, Danielle, and Dominic (Mother, Daughter, and Son)
Summary (from back cover): 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 who learns from a little girl how to trust his heart.
What it’s about: This book is about a girl named Olivia who is moving into a new house. She discovers a secret attic that she finds Burrufu hiding in.
What I liked and disliked about it: I liked Burrufu because he was cute and fluffy. I liked that the girl’s name was Olivia because there is a girl in my class named Olivia too. I thought that Olivia was cute. I also liked when Olivia discovered the secret passage to the attic and it was cool that the lamp was a switch. I wish that I had a secret passage in my house going from my room to my bathroom.
I thought it was funny when Olivia covered herself with the kitchen pots and pans for armor. I thought Olivia was a really good friend to Burrufu and Burrufu was a really good friend to Olivia. They did fun stuff together like play in the tree house and go to the sea.
I would not like it if I only had a Dad and no siblings like Olivia. I would be annoyed because then I would have to listen to Dad’s rules all the time and not Mom’s good rules. I also don’t like how at first Olivia is younger than me and then all of a sudden she’s a grown-up. I don’t like when people are first younger than me, then older than me.
My bottom line: I liked this book and I would recommend it to kids between 4 and 8 years old. I liked it but I think kids younger than me would like it more.
What it’s about: This book is about a girl named Olivia who has a dog named Tula and a Dad named Steve and a friend named Mark. And the girl has a monster named Burrufu. Burrufu gets trapped by soldiers but he escapes.
What I liked and disliked about it: I loved, loved, loved everything about this book. I really liked the monster because he could jump super-far and because he’s nice and cute and fluffy. I liked how Olivia pretended that she was going to die when Burrufu was trying to escape. She was very brave. The secret room was super-cool and I want one too because I don’t have one. I thought that Burrufu was going to be mean to people except he was really nice to Olivia instead. I liked how it had pictures and I liked the pictures.
I didn’t like how the soldiers trapped the monster. It made me sad and angry at the soldiers because they were mean to Burrufu.
My bottom line: I loved, loved, loved, (etc.) this book. It’s my new favorite. I think everyone would like it – especially kids my age.
What it’s about: This book introduces us to seven year-old Olivia, a little girl who moves into a new house that hides a secret – – there is a monster living in the attic, Burrufu. Brave little Olivia is persistent in befriending this gruff monster who is a highly skilled author (like Olivia’s father!) and who develops a soft spot for Olivia. But not everyone is able to look past the monstrosity of Burrufu’s appearance. When Burrufu finds himself suddenly exposed to the public, it is only through Olivia’s loyalty, kindness, and compassion that Burrufu can be saved.
What I liked and disliked about it: This is a fantastic little book. The story flows nicely and it is a relatively quick read. Both my kids really enjoyed it and it maintained the full attention of my 5 year-old son at bedtime (need I say more, really?) Interestingly, this is a book that has quite a few illustrations; perhaps one full page illustration per chapter and smaller images every two or three pages. I think this was very helpful in keeping my son engaged with the story, but my daughter really enjoyed the illustrations as well.
Olivia was an interesting character. On one hand, it was very unusual that she was often left roaming around unsupervised – she is only seven after all. It was also unusual that she didn’t seem particularly frightened by Burrufu (for the most part). But, if the message is that this little girl was able to look past Burrufu’s exterior and demonstrate kindness and friendship to someone who really needed it, then I think this can be seen as a strength in her character. So, at the end of the day, I was a little unsure about her ease with the monster, but I think the story is written in a way that you can understand why she is the way that she is.
Without giving away the ending…I do like the way that Corral decided to end the story. It is the most believable outcome for the story and it is heartwarming to get a sneak peak into Olivia’s life as a grown-up with her own daughter. You’ll just have to read it to see it for yourself!
There is one issue that I feel compelled to bring to light. The story takes an unexpected turn when Burrufu gets shot at by soldiers, captured by the army, and is chained up. What occurs to Burrufu is quite intense and violent and I would argue almost seems out of place in this otherwise touching and sentimental story.
My bottom line: Aside from my one issue with the story, this really is such a great book. I would recommend it to boys and girls 7 years and up. I would say at least 7 years old because of the mature themes (e.g., armies, soldiers, shooting, chains, violence.)
** My Monster Burrufu by Alberto Corral was provided to us free-of-charge by the author. **
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