New Digital Books Add Another Dimension to Reading

iTunesArtwork.225x225-75Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster is written by Nigel Gray and illustrated by Craig Smith, and was first published by Random House in print form.

Recently, this book was made into to an iBook and audio book, and a whole new dimension has been added to the reading experience.

Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster is a kid’s book about someone who just wants to belong, but is hounded out of town because he’s different.

Frank is just like any other kid – he wants a friend to play with, but everyone is scared of the way he looks and people react towards him with fear and anger.

SS_1_DFOM_Chpt_One_1024x768.480x480-75Finally, Frank the little monster finds someone who doesn’t care what he looks like, someone who just wants to play.

The issues faced by Frank could easily relate to a classroom discussion about the plight of today’s refugees in Australia – or issues of exclusion and bullying.

Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster uses fabulous humour in both the text and illustrations to provoke readers to think about the themes behind the story.

This modern take on Frankenstein’s monster hilariously reprises Mary Shelley’s original novel, following the same themes of a search for companionship, and – sadly – of rejection. Frank Junior finds the world to be a very unfriendly place, but happily he has been imbued with qualities that are able to see him through the awkward times.

SS_2_DFOM_police_1024x768.480x480-75What’s also great about this book is that it has a lively narrator (Erick Mitsak), and the whole text is accompanied by amazing sound effects from a violin – specially created to meld with the text and pictures.

Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster provides a truly engaging experience which reminds the reader that there’s more to reading than just what you can see on the page – that reading can be a multi-sensory experience.


The music and violin by Veren Grigorov evolved spontaneously during the book’s development process and they help capture the mood of the story.

SS_3_DFOM_tanks_1024x768.480x480-75The violin provides a happy melody as Frank goes out to play, and hopefulness as he hops on the bus. Then there’s the more sinister sound of the police coming, and the arrival of army and marching soldiers. Finally at the end, there’s the happy violin that seems to be almost dancing as Frank plays with his new friend.

The music gives Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster an extra dimension. It adds tension and vitality that work harmoniously with the illustration and text.

More about Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster is available here.

You can find out more about Nigel Gray here and Craig Smith here.

For me, Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster is a great example of how multi-media can be used to create a  complex and complete experience for young readers and listeners.

cover.225x225-75PICTURE THIS 

Picture This takes readers through the fascinating step-by-step process showing how Craig Smith created his amazing pictures for Doctor Frankenstein’s Other Monster.

It’s extremely visual, and everything is explained in simple steps, which is great for new illustrators like me.

This book covers the complexities of creating even the most simple illustrations and explores topics like:

  • research
  • style
  • movement
  • type of person
  • clothes
  • persona
  • point of view
  • facial expressions
  • body language
  • scale and size
  • techniques
  • background
  • adding colour


10.480x480-75I have a five year plan to one day illustrate my own children’s books and Picture This got me thinking about illustrating in a completely different way.

07.480x480-75Picture This takes you through the stages of planning a drawing and working out what questions to ask yourself as an illustrator to help you identify what you’re trying to achieve, and to help you achieve it.


There are simple, easy to follow steps, and Picture This can be downloaded to your iPad,making it a great tool for student illustrators.

Find out more about Picture This here.




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