The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips

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The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips and Gabriele Antonini

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An engaging monster-eats-the-children tale with a happy resolution, but it's probably best thought of as a daytime - rather than bedtime - book.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2011
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1848860667

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One dark and snowy night, after the children have gone to bed they are woken by a distant growling noise. A fearsome beastie (he of the title) has left his cave and he’s coming in search of something to eat. He has to travel all night and he arrives in the town just as it's getting light. The children know what to expect and they’re hiding and keeping very quiet in the hope that they won’t be found, but the beastie has a trick up his furry sleeve. He sits in the snow - and sobs. He only came in the hope that they would play - and of course the kind-hearted children fall for it. I won’t tell you any more except to say that you can guess what happens and that salvation comes in the form of Pete’s Gran, an axe and a tasty stew is the result.

There's going to be a frisson of fear from young readers and the most sensitive might be shocked at what the axe-wielding Gran does to the monster, although it is remarkably clean and free from gore. Most children are going to love the opportunity to join in with the story - there are some wonderful opportunities for making scary noises and acting out the parts. There’s a happy conclusion to the story (the story is slightly dark, but not that dark) but it's a story for the daylight hours rather than bedtime.

I liked Gabriele Antonini's illustrations. They're bright, engaging and really add to the story. There’s a real talent for capturing the children’s expressions and plenty of opportunity for discussing what the children are going through. I like too that one of the children wears glasses - it's not unusual for children to need to wear glasses and they should feel included in stories. Too often glasses are used to imply that there's an element of geekiness or something out of the ordinary.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.

Have a look at Tamara Small and the Monster's Ball by the same author and illustrator. Tamara wears glasses too.

Buy The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips at Amazon.com.


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