Giles Paley-Phillips (text) & Gabriele Antonini (illustrations)
Today I am delighted to be the Halloween pit stop of Giles’ blog tour for The Fearsome Beastie! And what better than a story about a scary child-eating monster for your Halloween night read?
The beastie in question, purple and scary looking, has a fondness for going down the village just before dawn, looking for children for a tasty snack. The children are aware of this and are well prepared but the sly monster tricks them into getting closer and soon he gobbles up Suzie, Clyde and Paul. Thankfully little Pete escapes and fetches his granny who is no pushover and has ways to save the children and punish the Fearsome Beastie.
The Fearsome Beastie is certainly scary enough for little audiences at bedtime. Although the beastie does get his comeuppance in the end, there is a certain amount of children-eating going on before the feisty granny takes charge (and I certainly would not mess with her!). But The Fearsome Beastie is reminiscent of many traditional fairy tales, especially Little Red Riding Hood, and children who are familiar with those stories will rejoice in this tale. Like traditional tales, it has a moral ending which young audiences will find quite rewarding I think.
The illustrations are very child-friendly and cartoon-style, and make the beastie very fierce-looking indeed. But when it meets its gruesome end, the artwork manages to convey the right effect without looking too ghastly!
The rhyming text flows naturally and emphasises the dramatic edge of the story. But it also allows for the story to remain light-hearted and fun.
The Fearsome Beastie is a great, fun read. I think some parents will be concerned about the monster’s favourite past time as well as its eventual fate but I think that parents are more of the faint-hearted kind than their offspring, who will simply enjoy the drama! There will undoubtedly be fits of laughter too!
Some great Beastie activities are available on the Maverick Books website: Fearsome Beastie Colouring-in and Draw Your Own Beastie.
Also the lovely Tasha over at children’s books for grown-ups made some amazing Beastie cupcakes as part of her Bookish Bites feature. Go and check out the recipe here.
And finally as it is Halloween, I asked Giles what his favourite spooky read was. His reply was The Doubtful Guest by Edward Gorey because it is creepy, but very funny!
All “Fearsome Beastie” illustrations Ó Gabriele Antonini