BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Friday February 13 2009 16:07 GMT

Book review: Mapmaker's Monster

Monster's Mapmakers
Publication date

Out now


Rob Stevens


The main character is 12-year-old Hugo, who lives with his uncle after his parents died. His uncle, Walter Bailey, is a mapmaker who gave up travelling to look after his nephew.

There's also a spoilt wannabe explorer called Rupert Lilywhite, who is given the title of Admiral, just because he wants it! Joining the Admiral are the ship's crew, including Seaman Oliver Muddle.

Apart from people there are also weird and wonderful creatures that Hugo becomes friends with. These include a funny mouse called Savage, and a posh creature by the name of Pigasus - he's a pig with wings. There are also several monsters who aren't very friendly, most notably, the Scavagors!

The plot

Set in the 1400s, Admiral Lilywhite decides he wants to discover some new land, but he needs a crew. Walter Bailey, with Hugo, decides to go along as the ship's mapmaker as times are hard for him and his nephew. So they set off with the rest of the crew on the El Tonto Perdido.

Hugo and co. eventually find new land, but it's not what any of them had expected. The land they discover is full of creatures and monsters, some friendly, some not so friendly. Can Hugo survive the strange new land with the help of his strange new friends?


Trying to picture and imagine all the strange creatures is quite fun. But the real highlight is Savage the Mouse - he's caring, sarcastic and very funny. Him and Hugo make a great team.


The book is very good, but younger readers may need an adult nearby to ask what some of the technical words mean.

NR rating:

Four out of five

Your comments - this subject is now closed, but there are other things to talk about on our Reviews page.

"Great book - it was an enjoyable book to read."

Beth, 12, Gwynedd, Wales

"I loved reading the book - it was really clever and it had loads of cool characters that you became close friends with at the end! Totally unputdownable!"

Amy, 11, UK

"It's very funny."

Emily, 8, Norwich, England

"Very very good and interesting. I was reading this all the time."

Joe, 11

"It's OK, but not that good. I didn't really enjoy reading it."

George, 9, Gloucester, England