Sunday, February 26, 2012

Susie and Alfred in the Night of the Paper Bag Monsters by Helen Craig

Accidents do happen. Should you retaliate or forgive? This is one message at the heart of Suzie and Alfred in the Night of the Paper Bag monsters by Helen Craig. Yes you do know Helen Craig she is the wonderful illustrator of all those Angelina Ballerina books.

In Susie and Alfred the two friends are preparing for a fancy dress party. They are working together at Alfred’s house and in the shed they find some very large and very strong paper bags. These will make perfect costumes. As they begin to paint the bags disaster strikes and a paint can is overturned. A fight ensues and both children head off sulking. Back in their respective homes they make their costumes unaware that each is making a monster disguise. When they meet on the street, as they head off to the party, each gets a terrible fright until they recognize each other's voice. Needless to say Suzie and Alfred make up, have a wonderful time at the party and they even win first prize together as Mr and Mrs Monster. The really delicious twist is a visual joke. I will quote the line but you really need to see this illustration to understand what is going on. “Nobody knew the little person who came third. He must have come from the other side of town.”

Suzie and Alfred in the Night of the Paper bag monsters is one book in a series of three about these friends. You might also look for The Knight, the Princess and the Dragon and Susie and Alfred in a Welcome for Annie. This second title is a good one to use for a discussion about bullying. Luckily these books were all republished a few years ago. I also recommend trying a little paper bag craft. We have some terrific books with paper bag craft ideas in our school library.

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