Kid’s Book Review: A Monster Handbook

Kid’s Book Review: A Monster Handbook

About the Book and Author

This is self help books for children by mindfulness expert Marneta Viegas.

Relax Kids helps children manage their monsters of anxiety and worry, deal with the dragons of anger and stress, and make friends with their gremlins of grief and sadness.

A Monster Handbook
Marneta Viegas

Marneta Viegas is founder of Relax Kids Ltd – the UK’s leading expert on children’s relaxation. She is author of 1- books and has produced a range of relaxation CDs and has appeared on BBC Dragons’ Den. Marneta has over 40 years’ experience in meditation and relaxation and runs a training program where she has trained over 5,000 franchisees in her unique award-winning method of relaxation. She lives in Oxford, UK, with her dog Ronnie Barker. For more information on Marneta and other Relax Kids products visit

Book Review

It is interactive, offers useful advice in a friendly way and is colourful and easy to understand

I liked “A Monster Handbook” because it is interactive, offers useful advice in a friendly way and is colourful and easy to understand.

This non-fiction book talks about feelings such as worry, sadness and loneliness which are expressed as monsters. I like how it uses non-scary monsters to describe the emotions as it makes them sound more friendly and approachable.

On the interactive pages, the handbook provides opportunities to design and describe your own monsters. It suggests ways on how to have a conversation and how to make friends with them to try and get to know your monsters better. It also provides advice on how to deal with situations where your emotions can get the better of you.

The book has a lot of illustrations, text boxes to fill and is laid out in a way that is easy to read. I particularly liked that there were quotes from other kids, giving ideas on how they were dealing with similar situations, making you feel less alone.

I think that “A Monster Handbook” would suit anyone (children or adults) who needs advice and tips on how to feel better when they are experiencing difficult feelings like sadness, anger or stress. It is easy to dip in and out to read about a particular feeling whenever required. It can be read and filled in with an adult, or like a diary, keeping thoughts and findings private.


The Author kindly agreed to answer some of Iona’s questions.


Question 1 – Why did you choose to write about this subject?

When I was a little girl, I had lots of big feelings. I was shy and fearful about going into big groups. I didn’t feel I was good at anything and I felt jealous of other children who were cleverer and better than me. Now I am grown up, thought it would be such a nice idea to write a book to help children understand their feelings and try out some exercises to help them manage these feelings and feel better.

Question 2 – Why did you use monsters to describe the emotions?

I used the ideas of monsters because emotions and difficult feelings can creep up on us like monsters and sometimes and sometimes they feel scary.. I do think that rather than being scared, running away or trying to squash the monsters, it is important to make friends with our big monster feelings. Once we start to love and accept them, the monsters can calm down and not take up so much space in our minds. The exercises in the book really help calm down the monsters.

Question 3 – Who did you write this book for/ who do you think your book is most suited for?

I wrote the book for children ages 5-10. It is for anyone who wants to learn about their emotions and how to manage their feelings better.

Question 4What do you like best about being an author?

I love how flexible my life as an author is. Sometimes I get a big idea and so get really busy creating and writing and other times it is more quiet. I make sure I make time for relaxation and I love sitting in my garden in the sun or doing a little bit of gardening or walking Ronnie. My favourite places to relax are in my paddling pool, by the river and in the bath. When I relax, I have more ideas for more books. I love having lots of ideas and have drawers full of notebooks with new ideas. I hope all my ideas and dreams come true in my lifetime.

Question 5 – What are you going to write about in your next book?

I want to write a book called The Tail of Ronnie Barker. Ronnie is my rescue terrier and I would love to write a book with him.

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Reviewer Profile

Iona reviewer
  • Name: Iona
  • Age: 11 years
  • Likes: reading, playing football and nature
  • Dislikes: aubergines and getting up too early
  • Favourite Book: the Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • Favourite Film: High School Musical 1-2-3
  • Favourite Song: Rewrite the Stars from The Greatest Showman