Cover Image: Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting

Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting

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Member Reviews

Max is no ordinary boy – he doesn’t live in an ordinary house and doesn’t have ordinary parents. But being able to burp and turn into a monster with massive teeth, leap over buildings, and eat anything in his path (dustbins included), is only part of his monstering antics. However, while his mantra to ‘protect and do good stuff’ keeps Max busy, he has also made an enemy – another boy, Peregrine, is hot on Max’s monster trail and with his invention, the POOP machine, plans to capture Max’s monster and put a stop to all the damage that’s going on in the neighbourhood. Trouble is, Max isn’t the one causing the damage…

This is the first in a series of comedy adventures aimed at readers in the 7-9-year-old range. Packed with silly jokes and slapstick situations, it’s a fun read that had me giggling all the way through. With a cast of strange and wonderful characters (including Frankenstein the cat and Madame Pinky-Ponky), it’s a clever and witty read. It also promotes well-balanced relationships and good old family values – even allowing for Max’s particular talents in the monster department, he emerges as a well-rounded lad with supportive (though odd) parents, who give good advice and help their son to win the day.

With delightful illustrations by Tom Tinn-Disbury, this is the sort of book that keeps young readers entertained and laughing, while engaging them in a magical and highly imaginative world that is likely to leave them wanting more.
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We LOVE Monster Max!

As soon as I read the last page to them, Babybows (5) begged me to find out if there was “already a next ones!” and Minishine (8) urged me to purchase a paper copy “for us to keep and read again and again!” Said paperback is already winging its way to the Shine household, and I have set an alert to keep checking for more books from Robin Bennett.

I already knew this was likely to be a great read, as I had previously read and reviewed The Hairy Hand by the same author, and loved that too. But we love Monster Max even more!

There is just the right blend of adventure and humour – both the toilet humour that Babybows lives for and Minishine secretly appreciates too, and a more subtle, mature humour, which will be appreciated by older children and parents who are looking for some palatable bedtime chapter-book reading.

Max learns some important lessons in the story, about friendship, responsibility and judging by first impressions. He does so in an utterly captivating, non-preachy, can’t-even-tell-there’s-a-moral-because-having-so-much-fun way. I’m not sure who roared more: Max as a monster, or us reading about his baggy pants and the P.O.O.P. machine!

There’s some really lovely worldbuilding too, with everything from the Krit fauna and history, to Max’s mysteriously large house, with all its secret passages.

Minishine’s favourite thing about the book is that it is ‘weird, and brilliant, and very, very funny!’ Babybows was a little concerned about Fanghorn and the rubbish dump baddies, but trusted Max to handle everything one way or another. After all, what’s not to trust in a boy that accesses his super-powers by burping!

We all loved the pictures and agreed that they fit perfectly with the lively and irreverent tone (in my words, that is; the kids said ‘good’, ‘funny’ and ‘brilliant’ a lot!) And we’ve all been repeating bits to each other through fits of giggles: “You could see his bum!”, “He nearly weed himself!”, “Buuuuurp!” (That last one was Babybows, who has been rather hopefully burping A LOT for the last few days.

So, an absolute hit here! We would recommend this one to children, parents, schools… everyone really. We’re already DESPERATE for more from Max!



'‘You have to stop turning yourself into a big hairy monster,’ said Max’s dad, one morning at breakfast. ‘There’s a report in the paper. People are saying things.’
‘I can’t help it,’ said Max pouring himself some cereal.

[Important Note: This is not completely true. Max is very special: he can turn himself into a monster whenever he wants – he just has to BURP. And he can turn himself back into a small, grubby boy again just by SNEEZING. He has taught himself how, but (as you will find out) sometimes he burps by mistake and Max is allergic to flowers, which makes him sneeze, so when he turns back into a boy again, it is hardly ever the right moment.]
‘Then you’ll have to work something out,’ his dad continued. ‘It says here that last night something that may have been a bloodcurdling monster:

■ scared several old ladies at bus stops all over Oxford
■ and climbed a tall statue in the park and shouted ‘Bum!’

Luckily, the paper says it was probably someone in a costume… although a Mrs Mudford-Sock of Mamble Drive is sure it was next-door’s poodle. But you can’t keep becoming a monster and scaring people.’
‘I read a book, too.’
‘Well, reading books is good,’ Max’s dad admitted. ‘Well done.’

– Robin Bennett, Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting


Review by Steph Warren of Bookshine and Readbows blog
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Max was a hoot and a half! The ability he has is unique enough as it is, but his attempts at trying to do good and it constantly being thwarted by seemingly half-wit nincompoops is ridiculous! I say half-wit because Peregrine is actually on to something with his out-there-sounding contraptions. I mean the POOP (see book description for explanation...I'm not actually making a potty joke) was some serious...STUFF...and almost caused the end of Max's exploits when he...well, when everything hit the fan! *ahem* Anyway...suffice it to say that not every person is quite as adept at catching our young monster come young man in the act, and sometimes he DOES actually get the drop on others, but while his stealth needs work, his heart is in the right place. I mean, he could just go on a rampage, but he doesn't...although there is a pesky little “visitor” from lands only his family knows of that seems to be dead set on causing as much ruckus as possible, but that a story for you to explore once you take the jump between the pages to discover all the wonder, all the magic, all the wild weirdness that you didn't know you were missing out on!

Oh, and one final thing...the BOBBLE HAT mentioned in the title is ACTUALLY a thing! And to think all this time it was...I mean, umm....where is that thing? *whistles*
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This is a fun children's story all about 9 year old Max, his family, his adventures and his nemesis! It shares the antics of Max, who endeavours to use his ability to turn into a monster to help protect others. However, when changing is initiated by burping, and sneezing returns him to being a boy dressed on in his pants, you just know this is going to be a laugh out loud story!

There are plenty of escapades for the two boys to be involved in as Max tries to thwart Peregrine's attempts to capture him. However, as family secrets are revealed there's lots to keep them busy - and you never know just when the bobble hat of forgetting will come in useful!

A great start to a new series that middle grade readers will enjoy and no doubt be laughing out loud whilst reading. It is a mad-cap adventure with plenty of action, including Frankenstein (the cat) who keeps coming to the rescue! It is illustrated, entertaining and totally mad in the best possible way - just right for encouraging children to enjoy reading! I'm glad it is the start of a new series and hope to enjoy giggling through the future adventures of Max and friends - and to find out more about Krit and the creatures there!

Thank you to Firefly Press and NetGalley for my copy of this book which I have voluntarily read and honestly reviewed.
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Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting is a delightful tale that will make children giggle and cheer with triumph when reading and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. 
Max is no ordinary boy! And neither are his parents. With a burp, Max can transform into a huge, orange monster with strong and powerful limbs.  He realises that he can use his special power for good and has many adventures helping people.  What he doesn’t count on is clever Peregrine, who is determined to catch a monster, and a little trouble causer who is giving Max a bad name.  
Max’s adventures are hilarious, and I love the little sides of sarcasm and humour in the book.  His world is quirky and magical but also quite normal too so that young children can identify with Max.  The writing is fast paced and action packed and there is never a dull moment.  It was a really enjoyable read and I can imagine children will love joining Max on his adventures.    
The Illustrations really help to tell the story and provide such a good visual to help younger readers with their comprehension as well as bring the characters to life.  Sometimes it’s hard to imagine amazing inventions and cray characters and the pictures really help with this.  They are bright and colourful and I can image all the discussions from youngsters around them. 
As a teacher I always think about how I would use children’s books in the classroom and Monster Max provides a bounty of stimulus.  I’d look at writing through the eyes of Max and his adventures and maybe create a new adventure for him or there is the possibility of expanding on and writing mum’s back story too.  I’d love to encourage children to create and then market their own monster catching inventions. 
My only complaint is that there is so much packed into the story that it could have been longer, giving more detail to each events.  However I do wonder if that would then make the book too complicated and targeted to a different age group.
This is a wonderful and hilarious book that children will love to read, or have read to them.
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We read this after we had finished Llama Out Loud which the boys loved and we definitely didn't enjoy it as much as that.  

I think this was more suited to Riley's age group but his favourite part of the book was how Max changed back from a monster.  It seems like there may be more coming in this series but the boys didn't seem overly keen to keep an eye out for it.  Not for us although we did finish it.
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We loved this book. It was hilarious.

It is beautifully illustrated and my son laughed so much at Max's antics and adventures.

Frankenstein was a particular favourite of ours. My son wants to turn into a monster all the time now.
⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Often as a children’s bookseller, I think about how splendid children’s books are nowadays. They have stylish covers, pages sprinkled with fun illustrations and stories so lifelike, you’ll feel like you’re living the adventure, too. And with Monster Max, that was exactly the case!
I loved reading about Max’s uncanny ability to transform into a monster, and with his trusted cat, Frankenstein, I relished in their journey as they embarked around the town, trying not to get caught!
With so much fun and adventure from start to finish, Robin Bennett has created a fabulous story, ready to be enjoyed by both young boys and girls alike!

For fans of: adventures, humour, mysteries, funny characters and silly - but not scary - monsters!
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Max may look like a normal everyday 9 year old but he has a secret. A secret that he needs to keep hidden away to keep both him and his family safe. You see, Max can turn into a monster simply by burping! He roams the streets, leaping over buildings and eating dustbins whole until he realises that he needs a purpose - and that purpose is to 'protect and do good stuff!'

When a mysterious 'something' starts to wreak havoc in his town, Max decides to track it down. But can he keep his secret safe?!

Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting is a brilliantly laugh-out-loud chapter book suitable for readers 7+. Kids (and plenty of grown ups!) will love the burping and POOP jokes whilst parents will appreciate the themes of friendship, family and being true to yourself. Highly recommended!
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I really enjoyed this book from the start learning about Max and how he can turn into a monster due to his mum coming from the country of Krut.

Peregrine was a boy who wanted to capture the monster that was wrecking the town and he finds Max.

Will Max's secret be safe or will he face capture.

The book explored in a simple way for younger children the concept of being comfortable with who you are and that we are all different. Also looking at thing through other people's eyes.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to children.
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The Bobble Hat of Forgetting is the first in a new series about Monster Max and it is great fun.

Max may seem like a normal child who lives in a normal house on a normal street with his normal parents. Only Max is very much not normal. When he burps he turns into a rather large and incredibly hairy monster. Monster Max is not exactly responsible and often finds himself causing all manner of monstrous mischief; eating dustbins, bounding over rooftops, scaring old ladies, climbing on statues and smashing through greenhouses.

Tired of being the monster that is always causing trouble, Max vows to protect and do good stuff. And his first good deed will be to stop a local vandal that is destroying the town. Unfortunately for Max, someone thinks that he is the one that is causing all the damage and Max finds himself being hunted by the determined Peregrine and his latest invention, his POOP (Portable Operating Omni Prison) machine. Can must catch the real vandal before Peregrine catches him…

Monster Max and the Bobble Hat of Forgetting is a monstrously good read that had me laughing-out-loud with the same vigour as one of Max’s monstrous burps. It is sure to be a hit with young readers as they will love the comedy and humour and will delight in the Max’s bum and poop related jokes.

Max often finds himself transitioning between boy and monster at the most unfortunate of times. Burping often happens when he least expects it and an allergy to flowers causes its own problems. Max is a great character, whether he is being boy Max or Monster Max he is never far away from a bit of mayhem and mischief, and quickly finds himself in madcap chases mostly involving his nemesis, Peregrine, with his his wacky inventions. Max is torn between his two characters and I loved the advice that his mum gave him, “Always, always be yourself - even if it has risks, even if it is very hard sometimes.” Great advice for readers both young and old. A delightful back story about Max’s parents and the rather important secret that they have been keeping from him is woven into the narrative and I hope that a visit to Krit to meet more of its residents is a possibility in future books.

The book has funny illustrations throughout and the copy that I received still had plenty of illustrations that were marked as ‘illustration to come’ so I look forward to seeing those when the book hits the shelves.

The first book in what looks like a great new series and one that will have young readers gobbling up the pages as quickly as Monster Max gobbles up dustbins. Publishes on the 18th February 2021.

Recommended for 7+

With huge thanks to the lovely peeps at Firefly Press for the advanced reader copy that was obtained via Netgalley.
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Review to come January 2021 on blog/goodreads. 

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

This was a very fun book to read, but I will keep my review short. Sorry, sometimes it is hard to write a review, sometimes the words just don't want to come out.

I loved that Max had to burp to become a big big monster and sneeze when he wanted to go back. However, you got to burp sometimes, and he is also allergic to flowers, so you can imagine the chaos that happens. Max wants to be a monster though so he decides to become a monster hero and help people in need/find criminals. I just loved that. Now he can be a monster and out, but not get into too much trouble.

Along the way he gets a nemesis who is very annoying, I give the story a bit lower score because of that. I would have rather seen him gone. Even later when he turned to be a bit nicer. Sorry, just no.

I also loved the backstory on his parents and then especially his mums backstory, it is no wonder Max is a monster. I would love to read more about Krit and about who lives there. 

Then there is another mystery as there is something else going on that has to do with the country Max' mum came from. That part was a lot of fun and it became even more exciting and fun near the end of the book!

The illustrations were cute and fun though I did think it was a shame not all of them were included and at points there was a: Illustrations to come.

I liked the epilogue. While I probably won't be reading the next book, reading this on my PC (yay for PDF) didn't really work out for my eyes/head. But if I ever see these books in my library (small chance since they prefer Dutch books) I will bring them along to read.

All in all a pretty fun book!
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