THE FEARSOME BEASTIE by Giles Paley-Phillips
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
Released: May 2011
Review Format: Paperback picture book
Source: received from the author with thanks
The Fearsome Beastie is searching for something to eat and children are at the top of the menu. Will they be fooled by his clever tricks or can Pete's Granny save the day?When I received The Fearsome Beastie to read and review with my son, I read it through to myself first. The book is written in rhyme and reminded me of The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson in its style, although it's definitely more dark and scary. I did feel at first that it might be a little too scary for a younger child and I did have some slight doubts about reading it to my ‘only just’ 5 year old son, R, but he’s quite a level headed child and so I gave it a go.
Synopsis from the back of the book.
The story is about how The Fearsome Beastie sneaks into the village at night looking for children to eat and tricking them, pretending he only wants to play. He then proceeds to eat the kids, but is caught by ‘Gran’ and made into Beastie Stew.
I really shouldn’t have worried about R’s reaction. He loved the tension of the build-up in the plot and was horrified when the children got eaten, but this very quickly turned into hysterical laughter at the thought of beastie stew (apart from the floating eyeball – he thinks that is seriously gross!). He also wanted to know where all the blood was when the beastie was chopped in two! It has definitely been the cause of many a bedtime discussion.
He adores rhyming books and was also very taken by the beautiful illustrations by Gabriele Antonini and so The Fearsome Beastie very quickly became one of his favourite bedtime stories. In the month or so we’ve had the book, I think I must’ve read it at least 15 times and although he can't read very well yet, he knows the words off by heart already and will say them along with me as I'm reading. I often find him hiding in bed with his torch and a pile of books ‘reading’ to himself and this is more often than not one of those books. I guess my idea of scary for a 5 year old and his idea of scary 'being' a five year old differ slightly. Mmm.
If you’ve got younger children, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s scary fun (I doubt it would cause nightmares - R hasn't had any worries with it) and I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy it too.
My rating: 5 stars
Oh, and we’re having ‘beastie stew’ (or beef casserole as it's called in my recipe book) for dinner tonight … without the floating eyeballs I think!