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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 7 November 2001
Simple & yet complex story of Bernard & his parents & their 'failure' to engage in his world. Is the MONSTER real or imagined? Does it matter?! Is David McKee trying to tell parents or children something about relationship behaviour? Are you ready for the guilt trip. Excellent resource, once over the inevitable conflict of conscience, for discussion with young & older children. I'd be inclined to borrow it from the library though.
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on 19 February 2011
My almost 3 year old son loves this book as it has a monster, my 5 year old daughter loves this book because she can read it herself and although it makes me cry I love this book because it makes me think about how often I am saying 'not now...' all parents say it and while teaching children that it is not always appropriate to interrupt is important so it taking the time to listen to what our children are telling us and spending a little time in their world. Children view it as a funny book with monsters that a new reader can access not a scary story of indifferent, neglectful parents and it is this fact that makes in such a good book and the illustrations are great to!
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on 13 December 2009
We've all experienced it and we have all been guilty of it. Dad! dad! - "Just let me finish this........... Now look what you made me do". Have parents forgotten we kids exist? Even the fierce monster is no match for adult indifference "But I'm a monster" said the monster. "Not now Bernard" said Bernard's mum. So adults had better pay more attention to their kids - right? Scary? I don't think so. I bet children can spot an allegory when they see one.
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on 11 March 2006
I bought this book twenty years ago and it remains a firm favourite.
warmly recommended
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on 13 April 2012
The mum and dad in this story are so preoccupied with day to day life, they fail to spot that their lonely son, Bernard, has a monster in his bedroom. Eventually Bernard is eaten by the monster, who then masquerades as Bernard!

All parents have busy days on which they have not enough time for their children. I like the fact that the lonely Bernard, has a fertile imagination and is resourceful enough to invent a monster. He then pretends to have been eaten by it/ becomes the monster, himself. A classic!

It's a great way to encourage children to pretend role play/ make believe, discuss imagination, emotions, seeking attention and family life.
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on 8 May 2013
My daughter found that book a bit scary at first. She is unfortunatelly not used to being rejected and couldn't relate very much to the story. That book has got so many levels.....i am astounded every time i read it. I think that you can learn about your own child quite a lot by observing his/her reaction to the text and pictures.
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on 2 June 2012
I can only assume that the 23 five-star reviews of this horror story are suffering from some kind of sociopathic disorder. This book is in no way appropriate for children.
Not Now Bernard used to terrify me as a child. A couple of days ago I stumbled across a copy and decided to look through it, believing I'd be able to chuckle at how silly the five-year-old me was to be so petrified by an innocent children's book (after all, I used to have an irrational fear of the Moomins too). No, there was nothing irrational about my fear of Not Now Bernard: this story is about five times as disturbing as Silence of the Lambs and the entire Saw franchise combined. It is as is some madman has transcribed the absolute worst nightmare of every single infant, illustrated it and then sold it to their hapless parents.
The story is chilling: a little boy strolls innocently out into his garden whereupon he encounters a monster that declares it is going to eat him. The illustrations of this encounter are rendered in a creepy colour palette - the sky has an apocalyptic orange glow, whilst the characters appear grey and dreary. Bernard wears a permanently blank expression on his face, and the monster has a look of pure evil about him: his eyebrows slanted, his pointed teeth gritted, and his fists clenched. Bernard desperately tries to tell his parents that this garden-demon is about to devour him, but they simply do not care - dismissing him with the titular phrase "Not ow Bernard". Rejected by those who are supposed to be looking after him, Bernard walks back out into the garden and is promptly eaten by the creature. This is tantamount to the child committing suicide - the horrific undertones are that this innocent kid had literally nowhere else to go other than into the waiting jaws of the beast. The monster then calmly wanders into the house and proceeds to assume Bernard's identity - with their childs's remains still dissolving in his stomach acid, Bernard's unfit parents go on to prepare dinner for the monster, let him watch their TV and put him to sleep in their dead son's room. The monster seizes upon this opportunity to systematically destroy all of Bernard's toys.
That's it. That's the story. There is no moral here, no repercussions for the killer, no acknowledgement of a child's death. How can anybody read this twisted tale of undiluted horror to their kids? What message are they supposed to get from it? A child is killed and his parents do not notice or care, and then everything he owned and loved is smashed to pieces and his murderer goes to sleep peacefully in his bed.
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on 30 March 2013
Bought for my grand daughter who was sad when she had to take the borrowed book back to the library.
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on 8 October 2012
Excellent story, which is well loved and read by adults as well as children. It was difficult to find in the book shops, but thanks to Amazon I was able to not only get a book, but delivery was super fast. The children in my nursery are very happy now.
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on 22 January 2013
This book is one I would recommend to any parent of a young child. Important lesson for both children and adults. Read this originally as a child, and bought my young cousin his own version since I love it so much!
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