This is a story about Collin -- a boy who loves collecting coins. Collin is very disciplined and spends hours arranging all his beloved coins by size, or shape, country or state, and sometimes even by smell or taste. (A word of caution from the writer: DO NOT try the latter.)
Collin has a favourite coin. One that he always keeps in his pocket, and turns from silver quarter into a golden dollar, with a tricky flick.
Because of his obsession, Collin always is trying to get more coins. One fine day, in search of coins, Collin puts his hand deep down into the forgotten spaces of the couch. These are spaces that can be very, very dangerous, and soon Collin learns why.
"Down, in the deep, dark cave that lies below the cushions and springs of your couch, dwells MARGARASH."
This monster, is just waiting to pull boys like Collin down into his world and trap them in his cage. Margarash believes that all the coins that fall through the couch are for him, and he's got a mound of coins collected in the dark hidden corners.
Bad luck for Collin, as Margarash's scaly hand seizes him and pulls the unsuspecting boy ferociously through the gap of the couch, into his dark cave.
He traps Collin in a cage, and refuses to let him go home. Collin finds himself trapped in Margarash's cage for what seems like an eternity, and sadness and loneliness overcome him. Each day, he pleads with the monster to take him home, but Margarash just turns a blind eye (and ear) to his cries.
Eventually, with a little wit, Collin manages to trick Margarash into letting him free. How? Let's just say he gets a little help from his prized possession -- his favourite two-faced coin.
The story could have easily ended there, but Mark Riddle inserts a twist in his intriguing book. You won't believe it, but there's a most unlikely of friendship that develops between monster and boy.
There is a twist, when an unlikely bond develops between monster and boy.
The illustrations and colours used in the book are interesting and unusual, but add an engaging story element to the book. Illustrator, Tim Miller has done a spot on job highlighting the darkness in the dark corners of the couch.
This is a bit of a scary story, and would caution parents of children who are overly sensitive. But told in a voice that's reassuring and the friendly message at the end, makes Margarash an emotional read that will have kids talking and asking questions, which makes for an engaging storytime.