The Snow Beast by Chris Judge

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The Snow Beast by Chris Judge

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Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Great story, fun illustrations and a book which will be read and reread. Highly recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2015
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1783441143

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The Beast always loves it when he wakes up and finds that there's snow on the ground. Every year - on the first day when there's snow - the Beast helps the mountain villagers to put on a festival to celebrate. Unfortunately, there's a problem. When the Beast goes to collect his tools they're all gone. He races down the mountain to the village, but every tool has been stolen from there too. Some of the villagers are very angry and they decide that it must be the work of the Abominable Snow Beast and the Beast promises to find the monster and get everyone's tools back.

He quickly findssome footprints (beastly looking, for tracking) and follows them, but the snow gets deeper and deeper and finally the Beast isstuck. But, ever resourceful, he manages to dig himself out and reach higher ground - and finally, he sees the Snow Beast. That's actually only part of the story - and it sounds quite complicated, doesn't it? Well, relax, because you're not in my clumsy hands, but in the hands of Chris Judge, one of our favourite writer/illustrators, and on just about every page you get another story within the picture on the page. As the Beast races down the mountain to the village you can follow the track he takes and the ways in which he gets over the stream which meanders down the mountain - using a bridge, a tree trunk, stepping stones and a rock, and getting larger as he comes closer to us.

As he struggles through the snow you can watch it coming higher and higher up his body - and as he digs himself out just look at the amazement on the faces of the watching animals. Even the snowman looks rather surprised at what's happening.

Of course, the story doesn't end when the Beast finds the Snow Beast. (And who, other than Chris Judge could juggle a story so successfully when the hero and antihero have such similar names?) There's a neat but non-preachy moral about there sometimes being reasons why people do things and you shouldn't judge them by an unfounded reputation. There's a lovely ending and the villagers get their festival in a place they never expected to see.

It's a story which will stand the test of time and of many readings as well as appealing to both boys and girls. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

For more of the Beast we can recommend The Brave Beast and The Lonely Beast. We loved them too. Chris also illustrated Planet Stan by Elaine Wickson.

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