Catherine Chambers, The Loch Ness Monster

Raintree, 2015, ISBN 978-1-406-29627-3

The Loch Ness Monster is part of a new series entitled 'Autobiographies You Never Thought You'd Read', the others being Count Dracula, Bigfoot and The Tooth Fairy. It is written with reluctant and struggling readers in mind. The font is very large, the vocabulary and sentence construction are simple, there are just a few short sentences on each page, and it is amply illustrated. Headings on the contents page - each refers to one double-page spread - give a good indication of what children will find inside, both in terms of coverage and the tone of the book, for example 'A saint says I'm a monster!' and 'My worst moment'. This is of course not a non-fiction book in any conventional sense, but nevertheless it contains a considerable amount of factual information, with snippets of history, geography and science. A number of pages contain 'Did you know?' boxes. There is a glossary of words readers may be unfamiliar with, a 'Find out more' section with book and website suggestions and an index. According to the cover, Catherine Chambers particularly enjoys retelling myths and legends. She recounts the story of the Loch Ness Monster in a very accessible manner, using a chatty first person style with lots of exclamation marks. The notion of the series is an intriguing one that will certainly appeal to some readers.