Giles Paley-Phillips and Gabriele Antonini (illustrator) The Fearsome Beastie is hungry and he likes nothing more than a yummy child. He is crafty and cunning but will his demise come form a little, old granny?
This is a book that from the very first page had both my children ‘entranced’. Prior to this book, my son was a bit ‘meh’ to listening to stories and would only tolerate noisy or tactile books.
Now, this is,’The Book’ that quite frankly has superpowers. When I need normality to resume in the household due to the kids either squabbling, crying, getting bored and so on I now call out to them asking for,’The Book’ and watch them promptly stop what they’re doing and trot off to get’The Book’.
I knew my kids were hooked from the outset because from the start the poem grips you. With a loud ‘Roar’ the fearsome beastie has awoken from his slumber, making the children in nearby villages tremble with fear. Visually you see him leaving his cave that has human bones dotted around, making you realise that he isn’t your average monster just looking for a cuddle. You then read on, building the sense of menace as the beastie makes his trek towards where the children live and then the unthinkable happens,the children do get eaten up! Cue your child’s mouth dropping open in shock but they are now truly gripped by the story. We then have a rather unconventional gran come to the rescue whose methods of dealing with the beastie make my children shriek with delight every time.
This book truly deserves to be a classic. I remember reading Roald Dahl as a child and feeling ‘deliciously scared’ and loving how the ‘bad guys’ always get their comeuppance in the most imaginative ways possible and this book sits in that format perfectly. In a few years time I want to be sitting in front of the tv with my kids on Boxing Day and watching this poem come to life. Verdict: Giles Paley – Phillips is an author to watch and from the strength of this book alone, I’ll happily blindly buy other works of his, no questions asked! Reviewed by Karen
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
Publication Date: May 2011
Genre: Children’s book
Age: Picture Books
Source: Received from Author
Challenge: British Book