The Book of Monsters
This is a sort of exceedingly and unabashedly non-objective guide to the NEXO Knights universe—depicted almost entirely from the primary bad guy(er…book?)’s point of view. Its primary function is to introduce readers to the wide range of monsters that are at the command of The Book of Monsters. Each receives a two-page tongue-in-cheek spread including art, descriptions, job title, likes, dislikes, favorite quote, and little known facts (when applicable).
The artwork is abundant and gorgeous. Rather than using still shots from the show or of the toy figures themselves, the book contains a wide array of detailed hand-drawn sketches, playful “notes,” and watercolor-esque scenes—all giving both the sense of concept art and vivid depictions on the order of a D&D handbook. At 96 pages, this hardback is of exceptional quality.
My only hesitation with this book is the overwhelmingly negative tone. Of course that’s to be expected, given the POV and subject matter. My 6 and 7-year-old read it with me in 4 sessions; and while some of the monsters really sparked their interest, the mocking of good guys and overall orneriness of the narration didn’t seem to sit well with them over time. (They weren’t scared of it, but they weren’t excited about it either.) Margin notations quoting Merlock 2.0 provided some relief—as did various diagrams and bonus info meant to add variety to the overall content.
A clever, extensive reference for kids who already love NEXO Knights, LEGOS, or genre-fused artwork.