Our Winning Explorer!

Congratulations to Allison who has won our Very Last Monster Explorer competition!

Allison came fully kitted out in her explorer outfit, complete with hat, binoculars and rope. together with her wonderful ‘monster on a stick’ and brilliant Allisonland map which she is pictured here showing author Jenni Desvaux. Allison wins an Explorer pack of goodies.

In the Press

The Very Last Monster Book has been causing a lot of excitement in the press.

Here’s a review of the Exhibition:

(With thanks to Parksville Qualicum News)

Young readers and monster enthusiasts, some dressed in safari hats and others sporting binoculars and magnifying glasses, gathered at the MAC on Saturday, Dec. 6 to find themselves some beasties.

The local author and illustrator team of Jennifer Desvaux and Aura Vanderwal took a different approach to a book launch event to get kids excited about their project, The Very Last Monster Book.

Echoing the mostly hidden monsters in their book, the finished book itself was nowhere to be found at what was actually a pre book-launch event that aimed to introduce children and families to the project, get them excited for it and register for a copy.

The event had the original artwork and poetry that make up the book on display, and asked attendees to dress up in their best monster-tracking gear to locate the rare monsters (one hidden on each page in a sort of Where’s Waldo fashion) and earn a certificate.

Children, parents and grandparents were lined up ahead of the event’s start time to see what it was all about, while Desvaux and Vanderwal said they were excited to see what would happen.

While Desvaux said she can imagine well-established books doing an event like theirs, she said she was excited to turn that on its head.

“That this is how we are going to start it, by celebrating it as a piece of art, both the words and the imagery.

“I would love to spare millions of dollars just to be able to run with it, but I like the fact that people get interested and committed up front, and then they are invested in it as well,” said Desvaux.

“The book is more than me, and it’s more than Aura. It becomes everybody’s and I really like that. It has its own life and everyone is invested and involved. I really like that.”

Of beginning the book, Desvaux said she woke up from a dream with the first three stanzas in her head.

“I knew that was something special, so I got up really quickly and wrote them down really fast, and then the next sort of materialized over the next six months.”

Though Desvaux had written stories before, this is the first one she shared, eventually with Vanderwal, a friend of hers.

“When she finally let me read it, I absolutely loved it, and I didn’t want it to end,” said Vanderwal. “I wanted it to keep going on and on and on, and then she told me that she was ready to send it in to a publisher, and that they would probably partner her up with an illustrator.”

With a background is portraiture, Vanderwal asked if she could take a crack at illustrating a page.

“One by one, it just came together perfectly,” said Vanderwal.

Illustrated using several media, but mostly watercolour, the images portray colourful, varied environments (described by Desvaux in her poems) in which monsters are hidden (some more craftily than others, but each leaving most of the monster obscured).

“There is just a glimpse of the monster — it is not the full-scale, and so what I see in my mind’s eye is going to be different than what you see when you look at him,” said Vanderwal. “We’re wanting to bring imagination back.”

Other themes in the book include environmental stewardship and endangered species (the monsters being quite rare).

Nonetheless, what Desvaux said she hopes kids get out of the book is a love of language and art, and that the effect is lasting.

“There are certain children’s books that you probably have yourself from when you were little, like Where the Wild Things Are. For me, I had a book of Dennis Lee, Alligator Pie poetry… it weaves into your childhood and becomes a part of it. Yeah, that’s what I would ultimately love for this story.”

For more information on the book, and to register for a copy, go to lastmonsters.com.


Source: https://www.pqbnews.com/entertainment/parksville-pairs-monster-book-plays-hide-and-seek-with-young-readers/


The Very Last Monster Book – Join the Search!

The monsters all used to frolic and play.
Now there aren’t many left, I’m sorry to say.
But if you look closely, if you search night and day
The very last monsters are still tucked away….

Imagine Dr Seuss meets Where the Wild Things Are with a dash of Where’s Waldo. A classic children’s book is born!The Bestseller Experiment

See the World Premier exhibition of the Words and Original Artwork for the forthcoming launch of The Very Last Monster Book.



An appeal from the Monster Preservation Agency:


“Can you imagine a world without monsters? No, nor can we.  The sad fact is, monsters are now on the Endangered Species List. There have not been any sighting in years and without your help, we fear they may become extinct.”

JOIN THE SEARCH and help save The Very Last Monsters.

Bring the kids to hold your hand!

Meet author Jennifer Desvaux and illustrator Aura Vanderwal. Bring your camera!

Fancy dress for the kids. Prize for the best “Last Monster Explorer” costume. Bring your binoculars, magnifying glasses, maps and more…!

WHEN:   SAT 6th Jan 2018

TIME:       2-5pm (last entry 4.30pm)

WHERE: McMillan Arts Centre, 133 McMillan Street, Parksville, BC, V9P 2H5 (MAP)

COST:      FREE (Limited capacity –  please register here to guarantee entry)




Get on the VIP Waiting List for the Limited Edition Book. When We hit 500 people it will be released!



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