Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace

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Pub Date 15 Feb 2022 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2022

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Nenek Tata is preparing for a normal day, gathering water, feeding her animals and checking the crab traps in the mangrove swamp before the first storm of the monsoon arrives.

But it turns out to be a not-so-normal day, for when she gets inside the gloomy jungles of the swamp, she is confronted by a huge, dripping, brown monster. And, when the monster follows her, she is forced to defend her home to the last …

Set in Malaysia’s eastern-most state of Sabah, this delightful spooky story 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.


Through 35 dynamic, full-colour illustrations, the tranquil rural coastal landscape is transformed as the storm approaches and the drama unfolds, drawing the reader deeper into the mystery. What is this monster, where did it come from?

The beauty of the shapes and colours of north Borneo’s native vegetation and animals, along with the exquisite styles of Kadazan-Dusun textures and patterns, are artfully captured in a wonderland of storytelling that merges cultures for children and adults interested in distant times and places. The fine attention to detail gives readers hours of enjoyment in a wild and rollicking adventure that will keep young readers at the edge of the knees they’re sitting on, and gazing long into the mysteries of the art.

Nenek Tata is preparing for a normal day, gathering water, feeding her animals and checking the crab traps in the mangrove swamp before the first storm of the monsoon arrives.

But it turns out to be a...

A Note From the Publisher

This advance reader copy is an uncorrected proof. Its content, price and release date may be subject to change.

Book Details:
ISBN: 978-0-9954086-8-5 (hardcover)
Size: 222mm x 222mm (hardcover)
Pages: 56, colour throughout; 35 illustrations
Readership: Juvenile (0-12)
BISAC Subject codes: JUV001000 JUVENILE FICTION / Action & Adventure / General; JUV012060 JUVENILE FICTION / Legends, Myths, Fables / Asian
Price (AUD) $33.95
Available Date: February, 2022

This advance reader copy is an uncorrected proof. Its content, price and release date may be subject to change.

Book Details:
ISBN: 978-0-9954086-8-5 (hardcover)
Size: 222mm x 222mm (hardcover)

Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9780995408685
PRICE A$33.95 (AUD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)

Average rating from 53 members

Featured Reviews

'Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace' took an unexpected turn from a simple story of the life of a Malaysian farmer to something that is probably a little too scary for much of the intended age of the audience. (Watch out there's a creepy hand reaching out from behind that mangrove!) That being said, I loved it! The artwork is lively, crisp, and dynamic. As the story progresses the art is essential in evoking an emotional change in the reader.

What's a better opening than "Once upon a time...?" Nothing. It sets the stage that we are about to go on an adventure. And, so we do. What begins as a simple day preparing for a storm ends in an unexpected monster encounter and Nenek Tata is there to defend!

Throughout the story we do get a nice peak in to this part of the world. We see day to day customs, encounter unfamiliar words, and meet the animals of the farm. For children who like a little scare and suspense they will love this book! If I were teaching my kids about Malaysia I would absolutely include this story as it is fun and a bit of a twist on a dry cultural picture book.

I would love a different title. I like the "Nenek Tata" part. It sets the stage for the cultural part of the book. The second part "...and the Mangrove Menace" makes it sound like a Hardy Boys adventure.

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I love the illustrations in this story, as well as the view of Nenek Tata’s daily life. In it, while performing her daily chores, Nanek Tata comes upon a terrifying monster. After fleeing from the monster, and readying herself to fight it, a torrent of rain reveals that the “monster” was actually her husband, covered in mud and vines after crashing his bicycle into the swamp. I’m excited to read this to my class when I can buy a physical copy. It’s the sort of story they love.

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Everything is not how it seems! Loved the artwork - lots to look at and talk about with children. The various animals had fantastic expressions - so it was easy to connect with them. I loved the whole opportunity to learn about another culture - myself - and so important for children to expand their world view. Could expand into a discussion about dealing with “scary things” and facing fears, and building resilience. Definitely recommend.

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Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is a beautifully illustrated children's book, full of emotion and details that emerse you in the setting. The story delightfully unique in our current market, exposing children to cultures outside our own western perspective, which is much needed. Unfortnately however, while reading this to my daughter the other night, I found several of the sentences rather clunky and over-written, which distracted from the flow of the story.

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I received an eARC copy from Logorythm and Crotchet Quaver via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

From the blurb:

"Set in Malaysia’s eastern-most state of Sabah, this delightful spooky story is told in the style of hantu stories — ghost tales — told to young children by grandparents to entertain them before bedtime, and to keep them safe from the dangers of the swamps and jungles."

Nenek Tata, tending to her regular daily chores in Malaysian tropical rainforests, faces an unexpected twist of events; she faces a monster coming out of mangroves and decides to prepare herself to defend her household. This brave woman is ready to do whatever it takes to protect herself, her husband, and everything she loves and owns from the unknown threatening creature.

The story beautifully depicts the daily activities of Malaysian farmers, bringing us closer to the culture and customs of this Southeast Asian country (I still remember the slogan Malaysia Truly Asia used to promote tourism of this gorgeous multiethnic and multicultural place). But, as the story progresses, it points out one more detail of great importance; to grow and develop ourselves, we need to face our fears, fight them, and build resilience. I found this story to be a great children guide; it would teach them to broaden their horizons as they grow and learn more about the world surrounding them.

The illustrations beautifully capture the story. They are dynamic, sharp, wonderfully eye-catching from every aspect; a perfect match to the storyline.

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This is, I think, to be my last advance review copy book. I've now completed 1,400 such reviews through Net Galley, as well as others from other sources, and it's high time to retire from this - which really does nothing to help me at all - and focus on my own work for a change.

I can't think of a better book to end that streak on than this one, which was a truly fun and educational book set in Borneo, where older couple Tata and Jantan, of the family Nenek, are starting their day to the unnerving news of a storm brewing. The story is told very well by, I believe, Judith Vun Price, and illustrated exquisitely by, I believe, Jacqui Vun in bright colors and playful illustrations.

They start this ~35 page book and their day enjoying their coffee, and then they split up, with Jantan heading to town on his bike to purchase some supplies, and Tata doing an assortment of chores in their homestead, including feeding the ducks, chickens and pigeons, as well as her pet cat, which is actually a clouded leopard kit.

Next she has to cut some juicy grass for the buffalo and finally, she must go empty the crab traps. Unfortunately, this is when she encounters the horrific mud-beast which follows her home! Her brave antics and the resolution to the story are amusing, educational, and highly entertaining.

This was a great story and it contains a glossary at the end to clear up any confusion from some of the local terms used in the story. I enjoyed this immensely and commend it fully as a worthy read.

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Wonderful illustrations! Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is a perfect little story for young children where the "monster" turns out not to be a monster. Just enough fright but with a happy ending.

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What a spooky yet hilarious story!

Nenek Tata is a hardworking old woman ready for yet another day on her farm: feeding her animals, gathering water, and so on. But this routine day suddenly springs a surprise when she finds herself followed by a monster in the gloomy swamp jungle. What will Nenek Tata do in the face of this scary threat? I am sure kids will love to find out.

The story is written in a very simply and understandable language. The initial half is quite slow and settling, as if preparing kids for bed. And when the monster suddenly pops up, the action suddenly changes to exciting! There are a few Malay words in the story whose meaning is specified in the glossary at the end of the book.

I had assumed the story to be from the point of view of a little girl, so I was surprised to see the grandmotherly Nenek Tata leading the story. (Didn't know before that Nenek means 'grandmother' in Malay.) Nevertheless, this was fun to read. The story is told in the style of the Malaysian hantu stories – ghost stories – so it is creepy in the right places. Kids will be hooked onto the tale, especially once the monster makes an unexpected appearance in the seemingly mundane day.

Though entertaining, the story delivers the right message as well on how to face your challenges head on but only after the right amount of and kind of preparation.

The illustrations are attractive and vibrant and add greatly to the magic to the story. The pages are filled with creatures though not all of them are part of the main narrative. It’s a treat to see the native vegetation and animals through the colourful pages.

I had fun reading this, so I am sure the actual target audience will enjoy it even more. It will be a great bedtime read and will also provide a beautiful insight into a new locale.

4.25 stars from me.

My thanks to Logorythm, Crotchet Quaver, and NetGalley for the ARC of “Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

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This story was cute and funny and also a little bit scarier than I expected. At one point I thought maybe I had misunderstood that the book was for children 😅

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read this book. I enjoyed it

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A funny tale of mix ups, this is a decent 3-5 year old story. Spooky but not too much, and features nice cultural touches

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I would definitely buy this for children because it's a great way to expose them to a different culture, climate, language, and lifestyle - all easily within the story. But there's a small glossary at the end too! It would be a really great storytime book!

The art is incredibly unique and engaging. The use of patterns is distinct and adds dimension to the images. The art does a great job of ramping the suspense and separating the text for the best effect. This isn't a world I'm familiar with and I love being shown in this way.

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This book has beautiful vibrant illustrations. The story itself had some excitement in it and multicultural aspects were weaved in so well that all children can follow and understand. I particularly like that definitions for unfamiliar words were provided at the end of the book.

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This was an interesting children's book based in Asia with beautiful illustrations. The story will interest children as it has lots of animals in it. The story is written well in simple language that children would relate to.

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Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this.

Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is an interesting children's book based in Malaysia with beautiful illustrations.

As someone who is an Australian of Chinese Malaysian descent, and who still has family in Malaysia, this reminded me of my second home.

This is beautifully illustrated and a great way to expose a different culture, language and lifestyle to children within a simple story, and the glossary at the end is a bonus, to help give definition to the different language.

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I really enjoyed this book. The illustrations are sweet and the story, whilst simple gives an insight into a different culture and creates some topics that can be used for discussion.

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WHAT an absolutely delightful, funny and slightly scary children's book this is. While it seems small, the story is excellent and I think even older children will get caught up in the story or Nenek Tata and her day doing chores and fighting a horrible Mangrove Monster, who turns out, after being rained on, not to be so horrible at all.

Gorgeously illustrated, this story is told in a way of old traditions [from the back of the book "“Set in Malaysia’s eastern-most state of Sabah, this delightful spooky story is told in the style of hantu stories — ghost tales — told to young children by grandparents to entertain them before bedtime, and to keep them safe from the dangers of the swamps and jungles.”], this will entertain children and adults over and over again, both with the story and with all the things you can see and find in the illustrations. I absolutely loved this one and would recommend it to anyone who has, or knows children.

Thank you 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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“Once upon a time, on the edge of a mangrove forest lived Nenek Tata and Nenek Jantan.”

Who can resist a good once-upon-a-time?! This is a gorgeous little book which doesn’t tell us where it’s set in my preview copy, but the publisher’s blurb gives the background. There is also a little glossary at the back explaining some of the words. Nenek, for example, is Grandma or grandparent.

“Set in Malaysia’s eastern-most state of Sabah, this delightful spooky story is told in the style of hantu stories — ghost tales — told to young children by grandparents to entertain them before bedtime, and to keep them safe from the dangers of the swamps and jungles.”

There are some funny, lively illustrations of various animals, domestic and wild, some of which Nenek Tata is feeding, and some of which are just in the neighbourhood. A lot of them are sort of mugging for the camera, so to speak. Pulling faces!

She goes to the well, which is a hole in the ground, where she pulls up buckets of water to tip into a tin to fill big earthenware jars in the house. All of these day-to-day illustrations are great talking points for children.

This is a deliciously atmospheric ‘ghost story’ that children would love to hear and read over and over again. You will have to take my word for it that the artwork is great!

I have had to edit my original review to remove the pictures, but I don’t apologise for usually sharing so many illustrations, because what’s the point of promoting a picture book if you don’t know what it looks like?

As for spoiling the ending, how many times do children beg us to read the same story over and over and over again so they can look forward to the superhero winning against all odds? In fact, how many times do people watch “Home Alone” or “Love, Actually” at Christmas, so they can enjoy the near misses and the happy endings?

It’s not as if it’s going to spoil the story, because you’re going to know the ending if you pick it up in a bookshop to buy it for a child. I’m not likely to buy a picture book sight unseen.

This book is a work of art with a great story kids will enjoy - over and over again. I love the Malaysian setting and hope there will be more like this.

One of my favourite stories when I was a little girl was one my grandmother used to read to us, "The Story About Ping" by Marjorie Flack. I just loved the little boy tied to a barrel and the slow little duck. I still have memories of what I thought life must have been like on the Yangtze River.

Thanks for the preview copy from NetGalley and Crochet Quaver Noteworthy Publications. (I love the publisher’s play on musical words!)

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Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace written and illustrated by Judith Vun Price and Jacqui Vun is a delightful children’s story set in Malaysia. The illustrations are absolutely wonderful with vivid colours, easy to read facial expressions (on humans as well as the array of animals) and sensitively depicted action. The story is interesting, informative and captivating!
Highly recommended.

Thank you to publisher Crotchet Quaver for a copy to read and review.

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This is a book of art and yes the artwork is fantastic. It is a book to read to and with children as there are points that are there to be talked about. It is a great book for young and old as me, an adult, has learned something from this book too.

It flows well, is easy to follow and shows the resilience and hard work of someone like Nenek Tata. Loved tat cat as it brought that extra quirky character to the story. I loved the picture of all the animals in the house staring at the door, waiting for the monster.

And I just love the ending and the meaning of some of the words. It all made since.

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Absolutely beautiful book! The story, the illustrations, the words - everything is wonderful and so thoughtful. It is delightful but also kinda scary, which was unexpected. What a wonderful world to be invited into and what a treat this book is.

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This is an adorable children's book with South East Asian rep!! I loved the art style and it fit the story well! I also enjoyed learning new words for everyday things like coffee with sugar or without sugar, oh and the fact that Nenek means grandparent <3

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Short, sweet, and gorgeously illustrated, Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace is perfect for the littles in your life. Cultural references are bound up in an easy digestible story - stash this one away for their next birthday!

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‘Once upon a time, on the edge of a mangrove swamp, lived Nenek Tata and Nenek Jantan.’

Set in Sabah, Malaysia (located on the northern portion of Borneo) this beautifully illustrated story takes reader and listener into what starts out as an ordinary day in the life of Nenek Tata. With Nenek Jantan despatched on his bicycle to fetch sugar, Nenek Tata collects water and feeds her animals. Then, she sets off to check the crab traps in the mangrove swamp.

After collecting the crabs, Nenek Tata sees a huge dripping, brown monster. The monster follows her home! Nenek Tata prepares to defend her home when a rainstorm (accompanied by thunder and lightning, naturally) washes off the mud to reveal ... Nenek Jantan who had crashed into the swamp on his bicycle.
I do hope that Nenek Jantan can fix his bicycle as Nenek Tata does not enjoy her coffee without sugar. Beware the swamp!

A story to read to and discuss with young children.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Crotchet Quaver for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith

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Occasionally we stumble across a pleasant surprise, that fiver you find under your bed or the melted chocolate covered in lint in a front pocket of your pants. Well, Nenek Tata and the Mangrove Menace by Judith Vun Prince and Jacqui Vun, is certainly one of those.

Set in Malaysia, these hantu stories are told to young kiddies before bed, they’re essentially ghost stories. They keep kids entertained and are supposed to protect from the dangers of swamps and mangroves. It was the mangrove aspect of this story that attracted me, as we have copious amounts of this interesting plant in Cairns, like more than you would ever believe – so that was my link.

Okay, this 50 page treat for 10-12 year olds describes the day of Nenek Tata (Nenek = Grandparent) as she goes to the mangroves to check the crab traps. The cat loving Nenek Tata also finds time to send her husband Nenek Jantan to the shops before it rains, as monsoon season is approaching.

Well, the whole monster and mangrove thing was actually scary. It’s true. The art work certainly helped as did the strory line. I won’t tell you how it ends but this was a very worthwhile picture story book for kids. Beautifully illustrated – bright and green, just as the tropics should be.

Good fun 4-Stars

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When Nenek Jantan heads to the nearest village to buy supplies before the monsoon hits Nenek Tata and her clouded lepoard cat Hitam tend to the farm duties. All is peaceful until they encounter a monster in the mangroves!

This is a lovely little ghost-story style tale, with suspense and action and bravery and a satisfying resolution all wrapped up in a little picture book. The illustrations are beautifully done.

I loved that this was a "non-traditional" (i.e: non Western) picture book. The Malaysian setting and lingo is a subtle way of introducing children to a wider world than the one they may typically experience.

The illustration of the monster may be unsettling for younger readers, but push through - it's worth it.

~Many thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review~

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I thought that this was a wonderful story. I do like picking up books that show other cultures and ways of life and this book is set in Malaysia’s eastern-most state of Sabah.

The book tells a traditional style tale that is told told to young children by grandparents to entertain them before bedtime, and to keep them safe from the dangers of the swamps and jungles.

It is a hantu story or a ghost tale and features Nenek Tata who is preparing for a normal day, gathering water, feeding her animals and checking the crab traps in the mangrove swamp before the first storm of the monsoon arrives.... but it turns out to be a not-so-normal day, for when she gets inside the gloomy jungles of the swamp, she is confronted by a huge, dripping, brown monster. And, when the monster follows her, she is forced to defend her home to the last...

It is 5 stars from me for this one, easy to read and understand, I loved the way that the story was told and the twist at the end was great too and made me smile. Very highly recommended!

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An enjoyable read - and a little scary, for sure!
My son doesn't quite fit the age group yet, but we might just read it with him when he's older. He'll certainly love the cats!

The artwork in this is gorgeous and really helps putting you in the right mood for the story.
Loved that there was a list of words in the back that explain words that might be unknown to the reader, even though they're mostly put into the story in ways that make them easy to understand either way.
All in all definitely something I'd recommend.

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This was such cute book! It was a kids book, so I'm not really in the demographic but its one I would definitely read to my future kids. I also really loved that there was a section at the back of the book that had all the unfamiliar words.

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Love this! Fuller review to come on instagram (hopefully I’ll be able to add a link belatedly) but just briefly, I loved this! The narrative, the illustrations, seeing Borneo represented in (children’s) literature. Definitely want a physical copy of this for my toddler. My gratitude to the creators involved!

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Even though this book is only a short read but i enjoyed the story tremendously. The beautiful 'kampung' (village) scenery of Sabah against the backdrop of the lushes yellow paddy field and the green mountains is captivating indeed!. The beautiful illustrations are so breath-taking!

Coincidentally, i myself just visited Sabah at the end of last year and the country's rural areas such as the famous Kundasang really kept me in awe with its natural beauty and i was lucky enough to even see the peak of Mount Kinabalu on a fine day!.

Back to this story, i enjoyed reading about the daily lives of Nenek Tata and her husband, Nenek Jantan where they planted some crops and fruit trees in their house compound, catch some fish and crabs at the mangroves and rear some animals and pets. All of it sounds so perfectly simple yet peaceful to me.

However,those are not the only thing that makes this story a compelling read,but also there are some elements of mystery,suspense as well as some supernatural to it, that just keeps you glued on to those pages until the end as you were left wondering and guessing the truth behind that 'mystery' in the mangroves.

In short, i loved the story and i had a fun time and a few good laughs reading it.

I thanked the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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This is such a fun book. While the text describes a fairly ordinary day for its main characters the artwork adds some great whimsy. The story is well done with an awesome twist that is sure to delight young readers. All around a wonderful tale. I love the artwork and highly recommend this book.

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Last year I got more into picture books for children and this one instantly caught my eye. Set in Malaysia, Nenek Tata goes about her day when a muddy monster starts following her through the mangrove. The illustrations are gorgeous with lush greens and deep blues showing off the beautiful landscape of Malaysia.

The story itself is pretty spooky (but there is of course a happy ending), and the first two illustrations of the 'monster' itself are really creepy. But brave Nenek Tata with her make-shift armor out of a broom and baskets was hilarious so the mix of spookiness and fun balance each other out.

And if you add to it the numerous cats and other animals living at Nenek Tata's home and in the jungle, you get a very engaging and fun little book.

I very much liked the glossary of Malaysian words used in the story at the end. Even though one could understand the meaning of the words from the context, having them laid out with translation was a nice educational addition to the book.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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