HomeReviewsBook reviewsMonty’s Island: Scary Mary and the Stripe Spell by Emily Rodda

Monty’s Island: Scary Mary and the Stripe Spell by Emily Rodda

Monty's Island #1A review by Emma Streeton

Monty is an adventurous boy who lives on a small perfect island with his loyal companions Tawny the Fearless Lion, Clink the Shipwrecked Pirate Parrot, Bunchy the elephant Magician, Silent Sir Wise (an owl) and Marigold who runs the island café. Together they must foil the dastardly plans of Scary Mary and her pirate crew who want to take over Monty’s Island. Will Monty and his friends find their way out of trouble? Can they hatch a plan to beat the pirates, or will the pirates have their wicked way? With buried treasure, a stripy spell going very wrong and hungry jinglebees galore, this fun book is sure to be a big hit with young readers and parents too.

The reading experience

I read this book aloud to my youngest bookworm and we both enjoyed joining Monty on his first adventure. We both enjoyed getting to know the characters who all had very different personalities. My favorite was grumpy Pirate Parrot Clink. I tried out my best pirate voice. My daughter may disagree, but she certainly enjoyed a lot of laughs with me… possibly at me! Her favorite character was the lovable, but oh so slightly dozy, Bunchy the elephant who causes her fair share of amusing calamities.

Another highlight of this book is the simple but gorgeous illustrations provided by Lucinda Gifford. They are a pleasure to look at and enjoy. Gifford’s artistic talent cleverly highlights the emotions and personalities of the characters so well.

The verdict

Monty’s Island #1 is excellent for parents to read aloud and I encourage a loss of inhibitions to try out those swashbuckling pirate sounds. Her first adventure has created a wonderful world of fun characters that will fuel imaginations and show children the fun that can be had with a good book in their lap.

Emily plans two other adventures for Monty, coming in August 2020 and January 2021. I am sure they will be eagerly awaited by young readers.

Book details

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
ISBN: 9781760529857
Imprint: A&U Children’s (Allen & Unwin)
Released: 2020
Format: paperback
Category: children aged 6 to 8


Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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