Emily Brown and the Thing | Book Review

emily brown the the thing

Emily Brown and The Thing is an award-winning children’s storybook that cleverly humanises childhood fears that surface during bedtime.

Emily Brown simply wants to go to sleep.

Except there is this noise. An unfamiliar noise.

The story tells of Emily Brown and her old, grey rabbit Stanley who keep being woken one night by a noise that turns out to be a “Thing”.

Thing looks a little bit like a monster might look, albeit a friendly, frightened and vulnerable monster, and the Thing is keeping Emily and Stanley awake.

emily brown and the thing

Each time the Thing wakes Emily he provides an excuse for her, a cuddly he is missing or some comfort he might need. If Emily and Stanley are to get any sleep, Emily realises she will need to get Thing what he needs to go to sleep.

This pattern of disturbance repeats (as all the best kids’ books do) and each time Emily is woken by the Thing, she finds herself heading on some incredible and scary adventure to fetch what the Thing needs. Initially, you witness an extremely patient Emily but as the night goes on this escalates into a desperate Emily who is keen to sort the problem that Thing is having so she and Stanley can get some sleep.

Emily Brown and the Thing addresses the complexity of a concept, like a “Thing”, and deconstructs it in a humorous and relatable way. The book exposes the courage that exists within Emily, (with Stanley by her side), as it does within all children.

Childhood fear and fantasy are at the heart of this book but it is the resilience, inner courage, and compassion of Emily that make it truly masterful in the mind of a child. It is the perfect book to accompany a conversation about night fears or fear of the dark and the perfect book to gift a child of preschool age.

Cressida Cowell has written this story in such a way that it demands a marvelous, dramatic retell which is likely why it has worked so well in transition to a stage production for kids.

Emily Brown and the Thing, Stage Production

Emily Brown and the Thing on stage

Tall Stories (creators of The Gruffalo and The Snail and the Whale stage shows) are delighted to bring to Brisbane their highly acclaimed production Emily Brown and the Thing, an imaginative adaptation of the much-loved book by the award-winning duo Cressida Cowell (author of How to Train Your Dragon) and Neal Layton.

Presented in the newly refurbished Cremorne Theatre and created in Tall Stories’ unique style, Emily Brown and the Thing is told with original music, beautiful puppetry, physical storytelling and lots of comedy.

The production will run during the Summer school holidays from the 12th – 23rd December. To find out more about the show and to book tickets head to QPAC

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