Josie and the Scary Snapper – Book Review


Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“As long as you have the Scary Snapper, no monster can hurt you, and the scariest thing in the house will no longer be scary.”

This book put the biggest smile on my face and I felt like such a kid again reading it! Any book which builds up the confidence of children and teaches them life lessons is an instant winner in my eyes, and this beautiful book does all that and more. This wonderful story combined with such striking, colourful illustrations should take pride of place on any child’s book shelf, and it’d even be a good pick for Halloween! The world needs more books like this one to get children into enjoying stories and to make them realise that they are braver than they think.

When the sun goes down, Josie stays awake because she sees monsters in the dark. She sees big monsters and little monsters, fuzzy monsters and scaly monsters. There’s even a purple monster with big horns and long claws hiding in the kitchen! That one is the scariest thing in her house by far.

One evening, Josie’s dad gives her a magic flashlight, her very own Scary Snapper, that will turn any monster into something less scary. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and starts to feel scared, Josie ventures from her bedroom and into the dark hallway, her Scary Snapper in hand.

In Josie and the Scary Snapper, join Josie on a midnight adventure as she conquers her fear of the dark. With vibrant illustrations, an empowering story, and a twist you won’t see coming, Josie and the Scary Snapper is an excellent picture book choice for bedtimes everywhere.

The story…

As soon as I read the first page, I instantly thought of Monsters Inc. Before I even mention the story, if you have a child who loves this film, then this is the book for them, by far! The story follows little Josie, and it’s clear she has a very common fear among children. She hates the dark, especially when the monsters come out of hiding! Josie’s father has the ultimate solution, and hands her a Scary Snapper (or a torch, to you and I) to blast away those monsters and turn them into something much less scary. I loved joining Josie through the book as she ventures to the kitchen and I particularly loved how she got rid of those monsters by using her torch. It was so entertaining seeing how perfectly normal things (Josie’s cat being one) looked like monsters in the dark!

We can kind of get an idea of where the story might go, but just think again before you make any predictions… there is a nice little twist at the end that not even I saw coming! Josie is just a lovely character with a wild imagination. Thanks to the delightful illustrations, this character really sticks in your mind and so do the monsters! The story is one of those memorable ones, but at the same time, has the potential to be read again and again with the same effect. It’s been written beautifully and children will certainly learn some very important confidence building lessons from reading. It would also be great for discussion after reading with a parent or even in a school setting.

The best bits…

I loved how we see Josie’s bravery develop throughout the story and I think this is portrayed really well. Children can relate to her right from page one and I think they’ll be keen to learn more after reading that first sentence and see the beautiful illustrations. The finale was such a good twist for a children’s story, and it isn’t hard to understand either. The ending is happy (as it should be) and the book has the potential to be included in a series of stories about bravery for children. I look forward to seeing what the author does next and whether we’ll see more Josie adventures!

The moral of the story…

To me, this story encourages children to believe they can conquer anything if they put their minds to it! Josie became braver and braver after each encounter with a ‘monster’ and at the end, she was no longer afraid. The ending scene put quite an unexpected twist on things and was quite the opposite in terms of Josie being the scared one and the monsters doing the scaring! I feel the book is empowering and positive, and it is perfect for all children in the 3-5 age range to enjoy (or even a big kid like me!)

Thank you so much to the author of the book, Elisa Downing, for my copy to read and review. You should be so proud! You can pre-order your own copy of Josie and the Scary Snapper from Amazon today. Be sure to follow the author over on Instagram and sign up to her newsletter to keep up to date!

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