Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Picture book review: The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips

Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Maverick Arts (May 2011)

Blurb: The fearsome beastie is searching for something to eat and the children are at the top of the menu.

Will they be fooled by the fearsome beastie and his clever tricks?

Our review: Mom, I'm thirsty. Pop Pop, I'm sweaty. Mommy, there's something moving on the wall. Daddy, I heard a sound. How many parents have heard these often-used excuses at bedtime from their kids hoping to prolong the inevitable visit by the sandman? I know I've heard them over the years in my own house. But what would you do if one of your kid's reasons not to go to sleep actually had some credibility?

Hmm.... English author Giles Paley-Phillips has taken this concept and created a fully realized, enjoyable picture book in rhyme entitled The Fearsome Beastie, with illustrations by Gabriele Antonini. Penned in the style of a milder Brothers Grimm tale of things that go bump in the night, The Fearsome Beastie is a quirky, humorous story. Coupled with Gabriele Antonini's colorful and thoroughly enchanting illustrations, this book tells the tale of a tricky creature who appears at nighttime searching for children to eat. And eat he does. By luring a group of innocent kids outside their homes (in a similar fashion to the candy man from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), the beast continues his charade until the little ones are close enough and then he devours them, but he doesn't notice one--little Pete--hightailing it out of there. 

Pete's a smart boy and he heads over to his grandma's house. Grandma owns a BIG axe and as a form of relaxation she chops wood. When she hears what this beast has done, she grabs her axe and off they go in search of the big, bad creature. Reminiscent of classic tales like The Three Little Pigs, Hansel and Gretel, and Red Riding Hood, The Fearsome Beastie is a fun story with a happy ending. We can guess what Grandma does with her axe and Pete will be able to see his friends again. They even get to try a bowl of freshly made Beastie stew. With its dark humor, this story may not be suitable for children easily frightened. There are some scenes little tykes and their parents may find scary. I enjoyed reading this story to my seven-year-old son.

Rating: Really liked it.

Book source: Received from author for my honest review.

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