Cover Image: Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace

Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace

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Member Reviews

I wrote this review for my blog and Instagram: Miloureadsbooks
I love how picture books cover all possible genres, historical fiction, fantasy or in this case, horror! Luckily for me this book has a happy ending, so I never had to be too scared haha. Perfect for kids who want to read a thrilling story, show off their bravery and learn something about other cultures.
This story takes place in North Borneo at the edge of a mangrove forest. Grandma and grandpa, Nenek Tata and Nenek Jantan have some chores to do before the monsoon hits. Nenek Jantan takes out his bicycle to go to the shops while his wife feeds the animals, collects water and pick up the crabs from their traps. The forest is remarkably quiet, the pangolin and the tarsier look wide-eyes, and we see a muddy hand coming out of the swamp. Then a monster seems to rise out of the mud. Horrified, Nenek Tata throws the crabs to the creature, runs home and prepares to fight. Suddenly it starts to rain. When the mud washes away, we see the monster was just her husband who fell into the swamp with his bike.
This picture book is based on Hantu story, which are ghost stories told before bedtime in Malaysia and Indonesia. This example makes great use of foreshadowing. While the little grandma is unaware and doing her business as usual, we already see clues of something suspicious. Our mind is quick to assume the worst and label these irregularities as signs of a monster, which makes the ending so surprising and satisfying.
The creators of this interesting kids book are sisters born in Malaysia and in this adventure, they revisited their country of birth. Therefore, it’s an excellent read for #apiheritagemonth as well as for anybody who wants to celebrate Australian authors and illustrators. It is infused with Malaysian words which are translated at the back of the book. It also shows of the biodiversity of Borneo with all the animals displayed within the illustrations.
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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Different kind of kid book for sure, the story was slower and the art style unique. The ending was funny and i loved the vocab words in it!
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This was such a great read! I loved loved loved it. It begins with showing us a regular household, Nenek Tata and Nenek Jantan going about their day. Then, the news of an incoming storm causes changes of plans. Nenek Tata decides to fetch crabs ensnared to eat at dinner but as soon as she reaches the spot, she can feel something is wrong. The forest is too quiet meaning - danger is approaching. Leaving everything behind, she runs for her life. Will she be able to escape the danger or fall victim to a terrible fate?  There's a twist at the end. It was predictable but still made me laugh out loud. The illustrations are realistic and beautifully capture the vibes. Highly recommended ❤️
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Beautiful illustrations with easy poetic text tell the story of Nenek Tata and her adventures in the mangrove swamps.  Folktales are always a fun topic for children's stories, and I love the playful nature of this one.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. 

This is such a beautiful illustrated books. The colours are lush, mesmerising and incredibly beautiful. I would love to get my hands on a physical copy. This really captured the essence of Malay kampung and tradition so well. I love the usage of Malay here and there, the quirkiness of the story despite being very short but i immensely enjoyed this!. The author and artist did really well with this book and i love it so much
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This is a very well illustrated and written book. I appreciated the glossary of terms at the end but the story line was fast paced, good natured, and even a little thrilling-as much as kids books can be anyway. Good read. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC to review for my honest opinion.
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There is a huge difference in quality between children stories that are written with adults in mind (i.e., has moral lessons or takeaways) and picture books that are really meant for kids. Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is one that would really have kids laughing their hearts out and will definitely make a fantastic storytelling night. It's an adventure, a slapstick, and a sweet slice-of-life all rolled into one.

The pacing and the art amps up the tension as the horror mystery unravels and will keep readers on their toes for the grand reveal. I love how the text and the illustrations work together to help immerse the readers in Nenek Tata's world, from the lush farmlands to the scary nights home to folk monsters and nightmares. It's also interesting to see a main character who isn't young or conventional be the protagonist of a children's story and still be very much relatable with kids.
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The Illustrations within are wonderful. 

I was so confused while reading this book. I advise anyone who reads this to look at the words in the back to learn what they mean before they begin reading it.

Nenek Tata heads out to feed the animals and get dinner while Nenek Jantan goes to get some hula (sugar) before the weather gets bad. While she is out doing chores, a large creature comes up behind her. She is frightened and runs home. She is worried about Nenek Jantan and devises a plan to take on the creature. 

To me this was a pretty simple and somewhat silly book. I do wonder if some little ones might be a little frightened by the creature though. 

If you are trying to learn Malay or think your children would like to learn a few words in another language then this is a simple book to start, with a few words in Malay thrown in throughout the story. Think Dora the Explorer. 

This could also be used to discuss other cultures as it has different aspects from American culture. So, the is potential for it to be a teachers resource for elementary children.
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I enjoyed the book from the  beginning to the end, I finished it in just a few days. I will definitely recommend this book to some og my friends who loves this type of genera
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This was a great read! The illustrations were the best I've ever seen in a picture book before. Truly, they seem like classical paintings. I also haven't read any picture books from a Malaysian author before. The story was a great one, featuring an elderly couple who reside near the mangrove forest of the Sabah coastal plain of Malaysia. I'm itching to buy a copy of the book just for the illustrations alone. Judith Vun Price and Jacqui Vun are really talented artists. Eager to read more picture books from these sister authors.

Thank you, NetGalley and Crotchet Quaver, for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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My grandkids are 4 and 7 they enjoyed me reading this story to them, and my 7 Year old grandson also picked out some of the native word's used in the story before we found the glossary (I wish books would let reader's know one exists at the back Before you have read it. I also love it when authors phonetically spell words (not this one but they were easy to understand and pronounce) 
The storyline was enough to be dramatic without being scary, which is ideal for my grandkids. They loved Hitam the clouded leopard cub and the lovely illustrated pages.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace by Judith Vun Price and Jacqui Vun is an absolutely gorgeous children's book set in Malaysia.  The story revolves around the titular Nenek Tata, who is taking care of her animals before a monsoon arrives.  According to the description, this book "is told in the style of hantu stories — ghost tales — told to young children, often by grandparents, to entertain them and keep them safe from the dangers of the swamps and jungles."

Overall, Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is a wonderful children's book that is the perfect way to introduce children to Malaysia.  As a reader of Asian descent, I am so happy to support this book that introduces us to Malaysian culture and language.  I think it's so important for children to learn about different cultures in the world.  One highlight of this book is the high-quality artwork.  The art is absolutely gorgeous and on par with the best children's book illustrators.  If you're intrigued by the description, I highly recommend that you check out this book, which is available now!
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This is an absolutely delightful children’s tale, describing Nenek Tara’s normal day of gathering water and feeding animals. Suddenly a dripping brown monster appears.
This book will keep children wondering where the monster came from and what it is!
The book has lots of shapes and colour to keep a child’s interest and the reader can also discuss a different culture. Very well done!

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is a delightful story for 6-10 year olds. There is just enough scariness that children love but all works out in the end with an amusing twist.

The story is set in the Malaysian tropical forests and begins with Naknek Tata preparing breakfast for her husband Nenek Jantan (Nenek means grandparent). After farewelling him as he goes off on his bicycle to buy sugar, she sets about doing her daily chores feeding the animals, collecting water and collecting the crabs from the pots in the mangrove swamp.

While she is at the swamp a monsoonal storm with heavy rain, thunder and lightning suddenly begins. Then a huge frightening monster emerges from the swamp dripping mud and begins following her. She rushes home and prepares to defend her home from the beast.

As the rain pours down on the monster the mud is washed away revealing it is just her husband who has fallen in the swamp when he crashed his bicycle.

The language used is an understandable level for the age group. Malaysian words used in the story are explained in the glossary at the end of the book.

It is told in the style of traditional hantu stories (ghost stories) told to children by grandparents. They are designed to both entertain and keep the children safe from the dangers of the swamps and jungles.

This delightful story is illustrated perfectly with large vivid pictures. They clearly depict the home and surroundings. The animal pictures are so much fun even if not directly part of the story. Don’t miss checking the expressions on their faces.

I hope this book will be part of a series introducing children to many cultures

At the back there is a glossary of Malayan words used in the story. I think these should be at the front for people like me who just jump in and start reading. 

Overall, it is a great story with wonderful illustrations and many openings for discussion with children.

My thanks to NetGalley. Judith Vun Price, Jacqui Vun [Illustrator], and Logorythm/Crotchet Quaver for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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It was a cute book. I laughed when Nenek Tata began screaming and running when she saw the monster because it was so realistic. 
And the fact that she went out to help her husband was so sweet. The illustrations were clear and beautiful. 
Thank you NetGallery and the publisher for this ARC!
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This is the first time I ever read a Malaysian hantu story _ ghost stories _ that is delightful and fun, but also put me on edge. 
Nenek Tata is a hardworking old woman, who we find getting ready for her daily routine _ from feeding her animals and checking the crab traps to gathering water_ before the monsoon arrives. However, it becomes rather unusual when she encounters terrifying happenings in the swamps_ she is stalked by a monster! The story is creepy, but as always, is a great story that is full of lessons: to face your challenges head-on but with a cool head and lots of preparation. I adore the illustrations - very attractive and vibrant that add greatly to the magic of the story.  Looking forward to purchasing a copy! 
Thank you so much, NetGalley, Judith Vun Price, Jacqui Vun, and Crotchet Quaver, for the ebook for an honest review. 

I just reviewed Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace by Judith Vun Price (author & illust.) and Jacqui Vun (author & illust.). #childrensbooks #NetGalley
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Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is a diverse book that will take you on a rocky ride of suspense and giggles. The story takes place in Sabah, Malaysia. Nenek Tata loves kopi-o, when the sugar has run out she asks her husband to buy some sugar from the shop. Her husband leaves on the bicycle in the impending storm. Nenek Tata meanwhile finishes the chores around her farm, feeding the farm animals and checking crab traps, and she comes across a monster. Will Nenek Tata survive the monster? I loved Hitam, a leopard kitten that Nenek Tata saved and it follows her everywhere. The illustrations showed the beauty of the place filled with fabulous green and plants and wildlife natural to Malaysia. Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is a book that will transport you to a different place and into the home of Nenek Tata.
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An amusing little story about an older woman going about her chores, when she encounters a frightening beast in the mangrove forest bordering her property. 

The illustrations were charming, and I could feel the humidity surrounding Nenek Tata. The reveal of the “monster” was funny, and I could empathize with Nenek Tata having to drink her coffee without sugar.

Thank you to Netgalley and to Crotchet Quaver for this ARC in exchange for my review.
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I love this book.

Given that I understand Malay, initially I was a little confused by the use of nenek (grandmother) for the datuk or nenek jantan (grandfather). I thought it was a lesbian couple at first until i flipped the page and saw the old man. The glossary at the end helped.

The beautiful artwork blew my mind and made this story come to life.

I hope more people read this as it is a beautiful side of Sabah, a place I would love to visit.

Glorious book..
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A wholesome, fun story, enhanced by exquisitely lush illustrations.

At the edge of a mangrove swamp in the Malaysian state of Sabah, live Nenek Tata and Nenek Jantan. They share their simple but comfortable home with a menagerie of pets and livestock, including a dear little rescued clouded leopard cub named Hitam, who rarely leaves Nenek Tata's side. One day, as a storm approaches, there are two pressing chores to be taken care of - the crab pots must be checked and someone has to go to the shop for more sugar to sweeten the coffee. It is decided that Nenek Tata will go looking for crabs while Nenek Jantan quickly rides his bicycle to the shop. As the first signs of the storm appear, Nenek Tata and Hitam are returning home when they sense a sinister presence behind them...

So, yes, there is a little bit of tension there that might excite the littlest readers first time around, but with repeated reading they are sure to look forward to the comical relief of the story's resolution.

I just loved this! The story is great, but the illustrations are outstanding. So beautiful and detailed. I can imagine poring over this book with a little one for ages, noticing all the funny little details together.

The story includes a handful of Malaysian words, which are included in a short glossary at the back.

Overall I rate this as an exceptional picturebook.
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