Praise for Bartholomew and the Morning Monsters.
'A playful nod to difficult mornings'. --Kirkus
'A solid children's debut for both creators' --Publishers Weekly
'Ruan van Vliet's work is full of humour. Recommend exploring more from @cicadabooks too'. --Matthew Tobin-Klaus Flugge Prize Judge 2021
'This story adds needed humor for kids new to the rush of a morning routine'. --Youth Services Book Review
'A fun riff on a child’s fear of monsters'. -- The AOI
'Full of superb artwork and with a playful storyline, this is yet another brilliant publication from Cicada Books'. -- Paper Ren
'A fun story to share with those who may find mornings a bit of a trial. Superb illustrations throughout!' -- My Shelves Are Full
Mornings are never easy - especially when the monsters from last night’s dreams want to stay and play!
Bartholomew struggles to get himself ready as the monsters from last night’s dreams sabotage the most simple of morning routines. A vast purple monster sits on his chest, making it hard to get up. A slug monster slimes his clothes, so he can’t get dressed. Brushing teeth, eating breakfast, and even going to the toilet all present challenges as the monsters mess around at Bartholomew’s expense. Will Bartholomew’s dad ever manage to get him out the door?
Hilarious illustrations bring Bartholomew’s frustration and befuddlement alive in this deceptively simple story that anyone who is not a morning person is bound to relate to.
<p>'Bartholomew enjoys the monsters that visit nightly—the book opens with a nod to Maurice Sendak as the monsters dance with Bartholomew in a “wild rumpus”—but they are making things difficult in the mornings. The black-and-white illustration on the book’s title page captures the source of the chaos: One monster swallows Bartholomew’s alarm clock. Now in Technicolor, the monsters linger in Bartholomew’s home until morning and intensify the mischief during the child’s morning routine, disrupting tooth-brushing, shoe-tying, breakfast, and even urinating (one monster scares Bartholomew at the toilet, which results in a yellow puddle on the bathroom floor). The wide-eyed monsters, depicted in bright, saturated colors and with rounded shapes, are goofy and fun-loving, never truly frightening. Two of the most meddlesome (small enough to wreak havoc by hiding in toothpaste tubes) are merely fluffy orange and yellow balls of fluff on legs. When Bartholomew breaks down in defeat and tears, Dad saves the day with composure: “Let’s sort you out, Bartholomew.” It can be hard for any child to get going in the mornings, whether the monsters are real or imagined, but when a trusted caregiver can step in to redirect, tears turn to smiles (even if one miniature monster hides in Bartholomew’s backpack, hinting at more mayhem to come). Bartholomew and Dad are depicted with light skin and straight, black hair. A playful nod to difficult mornings'. --Kirkus</p>
<p>'This is a solid children’s debut for both creators: Berger’s text offers dry commentary (“Breakfast was, frankly, a disaster”), and cartooning by van Vliet, with its black outlines and flat, bright colors, packs both a vivid spontaneity and an emotional punch. It’s a spot-on depiction of what it’s like to wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and the chaos is funny and relatable for anyone who has temporarily misplaced their morning get-up-and-go. Ages 3–6'. --Publishers Weekly</p>
<p>'This story adds needed humor for kids new to the rush of a morning routine. I love that it’s dad who helps out here, and he and Bartholomew are adorably plump and neckless versions of one another. There’s a reference to Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are, which should be the next book any reader picks up if they haven’t already read it. The monsters are non scary and silly looking, and readers will enjoy pointing out the mischief they cause poor Bartholomew, from pee on the floor, to his lost hairbrush in the tentacle of a grinning eel-like monster with purple hair. The endpapers are a catalog of all the items Bartholomew cannot manage'. --Youth Services Book Review</p>
<p>'Anarchic it mostly definitely is. Ruan van Vliet's work is full of humour. I recommend exploring more from @cicadabooks too'. --Matthew Tobin-Klaus Flugge Judge 2021</p>
<p>'A fresh author / illustrator pairing here from Cicada Books. Bartholomew is struggling to get ready for school because of all the monsters from last night’s dream...they just won’t leave him alone. They try to help him with dressing, teeth cleaning, breakfast eating, going for a wee and tying his shoes - all with hilarious consequences, vividly laid out in colourful illustrations. I was left wondering about the very subtle hints taking us back to Maurice Sendak’s “Where the wild things are”, as the story begins with a “wild rumpus”, one of the monsters looking decidedly like Max in Sendak’s classic. This is a great story, perfectly concluded by Bartholomew’s Dad calmly helping him to get properly ready for school.' --It's All About Stories</p>
<p>'A fun riff on a child’s fear of monsters'. --The AOI</p>
<p>'Illustrated in vibrant and revoltingly funny glory, the titular monsters cause chaos the moment Bartholomew wakes up. With pants and loo roll all over the endpapers, this book is bound to be a winner - and it's possibly the perfect story for parents with children who just cannot get up in time for school.'--School Reading List</p>
<p>'This is a good book for sharing with children who struggle with bad dreams, or being a little bit grumpy in the mornings - I know I can sympathise with the idea of having monsters stopping you from getting ready in the morning! It's a great conversation starter for introducing the idea of asking for help if you're struggling with feeling a little grumpy, or finding getting jobs done. The pictures are funny and will keep children engaged in the story. In the classroom, you could use this story in PSHE to talk about the importance of asking for help, having a good night's sleep and being able to label/talk about emotions. Children could draw their own monsters that stop them from getting jobs done, talk about how they can keep the monsters in check and ensure that they can identify when they need help.' --Reading Zone</p>
<p>'Ruan van Vliet captures Bartholomew and the troublemaking monsters with bright and colourful artwork, full of humour and expression. Witty speech bubbles pop up throughout the book, alongside visuals of the chaotic scenes that perfectly depict Bartholomew's frustration as he attempts to leave the house. Relatable to those who are not particularly 'morning fans', this smart and witty book brilliantly captures the unsuccessful morning routine and the fleeting frustration this may bring. Some days it may feel like a group of creatures are deliberately tying together our shoelaces or tampering with the toothpaste! Full of superb artwork and with a playful storyline, this is yet another brilliant publication from publishers, Cicada Books.' --Paper Ren</p>
<p>'Sometimes, we all have trouble getting up in the mornings after a late night and Bartholomew is struggling to get ready for school. Time is ticking and though reminding Bartholomew constantly, Dad still needs to step in to help out. When Dad arrives to help, things go a bit more smoothly. Those monsters hide and Dad is able to get Bartholomew dressed, hair combed and teeth brushed. A fun story to share with those who may find mornings a bit of a trial. Superb illustrations throughout!' --My Shelves Are Full</p>
- Klaus Flugge Prize