Petit, the Monster by Isol

The opening line of this book is an intriguing question: “Do you know Petit?” This sets the tone for the rest of this quirky story by Argentine author and illustrator Isol, which attempts to make sense of some of the confounding dichotomies of life from a little boy’s point of view — the most pertinent question being whether it is possible to be both good and bad at the same time.

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Created using pencil, oil pastels and digital technology, the unique illustrations effectively convey the metaphorical struggle between the angel and devil within us, without spelling it out. The author applaudably avoids presenting easy and cliched answers, since part of life’s beauty lies in how conflicting and complex it can be.

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I also love the little wink at parents at the end, which is a reminder to be more empathetic when kids act out. So do you know Petit? Yes, you probably do. Is he a monster? No, most definitely not.

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