Perfect Picture Book Friday – Maurice The Unbeastly


Right now this very second while you are reading this, I am winging my way to the Lone Star State for the North Texas SCBWI Conference!

Sing with me!
“The stars at night
are shining bright
deep in the heart of Texas!”

Okay.  I confess that’s all I know.  But I am very excited!  I have only been to Texas once before and that was a drive-thru on a family cross-country trip when I was 12.  My only memory of Texas is of being forced to eat Velveeta sandwiches on white bread whilst we drove.  Yuck!  Seriously, whose idea was THAT?!  So I’m hoping it’s going to be a lot more fun this time… if I survive my presentation… which I have been nailbiting over for weeks already!  If you hear a jackhammering sound, that’s just my teeth chattering with nerves! 🙂


I’m thrilled beyond measure to be sharing this fabulous book today, written by the very talented Amy Dixon.  Such fun!  I love it!  I hope you love it 🙂


Title: Maurice The Unbeastly

Written By: Amy Dixon

Illustrated By: Karl James Mountford

Sterling Children’s Books, September 2017, fiction

Suitable For Ages: 3-7

Themes/Topics: individuality, being true to yourself, monsters, humor

Opening: “Maurice was not like the other beasts.  His voice was as sweet and refreshing as dandelion lemonade on a hot day.

Brief Synopsis: Maurice the beast is a misfit, about as un-beastly as they come.  His worried parents enroll him in the Abominable Academy For Brutish Beasts, hoping to help their son be more like he should.  But Maurice is just different… and maybe that’s not a bad thing!

Links To Resources: make a collage of pictures that represents who you are; make a list of at least 5 words that describe you; draw a picture of yourself doing something you love to do; write a poem about someone who makes you feel valued; draw a picture of the animal you feel is most like you and make a list of at least 5 words that explain why you are like that animal (e.g. brave, pretty, strong, fast, etc..)

Why I Like This Book: Maurice is delightful!  He is so gloriously and humorously un-beastly, with his melodious voice like “dandelion lemonade on a hot day”, his love for organic kale, and his smile which makes him “ridiculously photogenic”.  And when it comes to “messy meat eating” he asks for “the vegetarian option” 🙂  You’ve got to love a character who is so much himself in spite of how different he is from his peers.  And this is a message so many kids can benefit from, because we should all be true to ourselves.  The art is perfect for the story in shades of muted rust, green, and black with touches of red and white, and includes fun details like the Academy sign with the slogan “Hear us roar.  Hit the floor.  We’re the mighty carnivore!”, and Maurice pictured with birds and flowers.  A humorous, entertaining but also sweet read!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out 🙂 ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

And please wish me luck in Texas!!!!!!!