Book Reviews

Review: Monkfish Maggie and the Bungalow Stairs by CatchphraseDan & Berg Norcross


I was kindly sent a free copy of this digital book by the author CatchphraseDan for a review.  It’s a fun kids book with a funny story and some great illustrations, here is my review.

Maggie and Nesbitt live in a bungalow. One day, after a trip to the market, Maggie comes back to find Nesbitt missing and something very strange inside their bungalow….Stairs. But where do the stairs go and where did Nesbitt go?

This is a funny and silly children’s story which is surprisingly good. A digital book that’s got some lovely illustrations, the story follows Maggie, an old lady and her search for her husband Nesbitt, who disappears when she’s out at the market.

This storybook is short but very easy to get into. The writing is good but the story is what I call daft or silly with mentions of chickens in raincoats and ducks being part of a market’s security. It’s very silly humour but actually really fun and very entertaining. As the story progresses Maggie has to search for her husband and discover what the strange set of stairs is that suddenly appears in her bungalow.

The story is split into chapters but overall the whole book is only around 99 pages long, so not a long read. Each chapter is written in a fun and silly way and is also accompanied with some lovely pictures. The illustrator Berg Norcross is the same person who illustrated Berg’s Book of Shapes, a book I also reviewed. The images are simple but very clear and I have to say I do like this different kind of illustration.

The story is very original. Although the ending is predictably cheerful, it’s not a story I could predict at all. Half way through the story there’s a tale told by a character and it’s told in rhymes which many kids might enjoy reading aloud. The book has an introduction and an ‘outroduction’. It’s important to read both of these as the tale isn’t really over until the very last page of the ‘outroduction’ and I really do like the ending.

Overall this is a great book and I think the story would appeal to adults as well as kids, just because it’s so fun and different. The illustrations really make this fun too as well as the author bios in the front of the book. A book I’d recommend if you like the quirky and silly type of humour which many kids do.

Rating: 5/5

Review published on Goodreads, click here

Author’s website:

Book Description:

 “Maggie stepped forward and rubbed her eyes in disbelief – how was this possible? A giant stone staircase stood in front of her, climbing high up through an ugly hole that had appeared in the ceiling. Maggie strained her eyes and looked for the end of the staircase, but it climbed and climbed into the darkness of the loft.”

When Maggie returns home from the market one spectacularly normal day, two things in particular strike her as strange.

• Firstly, a rather peculiar set of stairs have sprouted from her otherwise stairless bungalow.
• Secondly, and probably most concerning of all, her husband Nesbitt is nowhere to be found…

Where is Nesbitt? Why have these extraordinary stairs appeared – and more importantly, what lies beyond them? Evil? Good? Monsters? Head lice?!

Join Maggie as she searches low, high and even higher for Nesbitt, in an intriguing debut adventure that will captivate children and adults alike.

Love stairs? This story is for you!
Hate stairs? It’s for you as well!
Don’t care either way? Me neither – have yourself a read!

Written by CatchphraseDan and bursting with over 50 enchanting illustrations by the mystical Berg Norcross, Monkfish Maggie and the Bungalow Stairs will dunk you deep into a barrel of mystery and then wring you dry like a limp blue flannel. Sit yourself down and open your mind hole, because this story is coming at you…



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