The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
The Ice Monster
When Elsie, an orphan on the streets of Victorian London, hears about the mysterious Ice Monster – a woolly mammoth found at the North Pole – she's determined to discover more, but when a chance encounter brings Elsie face to face with the creature, it sparks the adventure of a lifetime – from London to the Arctic itself.
The Ice Monster is an epic, loosely historical adventure (as explained in the back of the book, the dates don’t quite match up to historical facts but it’s more or less Victorian!). It is a bit of a departure from his previous work, all set in the present day.
As with all of David Walliams’ books, it’s funny, easy to read and shoots along at a rocket pace. Great for adults to read out loud, brilliant for doing funny voices - and actually great for children to read out loud to adults, too.
Tony Ross’ glorious cover and artwork on almost every page are a joy. They are an integral part of the story and really help us get to know our plucky Elsie and all her friends.
This story is a lot of fun, with some lovely cameo roles including Queen Victoria herself. David Walliams fans, old and new, will lap it up.