Scoop Review of Books

Moshi Monsters Character Encyclopedia

Moshi Monsters Character Encyclopedia by Steve Cleverley, Lauren Holowaty and Claire Sipi (Dorling Kindersley/ Penguin, 2013)
Reviewed by Ruth Brassington

With this book’s pop-star magazine-style layout, I almost expected to read about Britney Spears’ favourite drinks and thinks. Instead, I enjoyed reading about the adventures of poor little Elwood, who bashes himself in the face with his shovel several times a day while sorting gifts, and about Icky the mysterious gloop supplier. Colonel Catcher is on the cover, not only by name, but as a 3D version – a small plastic character to retrieve from his cage of plastic.

Presented in alphabetical order, the Moshi Monster characters’ foibles are described in short bites surrounding their colourful portraits. Tamara Tesla is an ingenious inventor who hangs out at the observatory, creates tricky puzzles and is often seen “thinking hard”, while Peekaboo is often spotted wandering the Wobbly Wood path collecting leaves.

The six-year-olds in my family, both members of the Moshi website associated with the book, had different reactions. He glanced through it briefly, said he knew all that and went back to the website to win more points; she chose to spend a couple of hours going through it page by page, finding “friends” and reading about and counting them in their categories. But they both went back to it from time to time.

I like those names designed to entertain the adults who help children with their Moshi Monster play; names with adult-only significance like Dr Strangeglove, O’Really and Agony Ant. And Moshi language includes fun descriptors for children such as Slug Slurp Slushies, Sizzly-Fizzly, and Potion Ocean.

As the cover blurb says, you’ll: “learn about each character and the gloopendous world they live in, along with monsterific Moshi Monster facts”. It’s all char-vellous fun.