Book Title: The Beast and The Bethany (available here)
Author: Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Illustrator: Isabelle Follath
Publication Date: October 2020
Most Suitable For: KS2
Reviewer: Louise Buisson
This story is full of fantastical treasures to keep a reader enthralled: a villain in need of redemption, a mischievous girl and an insatiable bone-crunching beast.
Ebenezer Twitch is five hundred and eleven years old. He has reached this astounding age due to an elixir of youth provided to him by a magical beast, which lives on the top floor of his house. Ebenezer adopted the creature when it was tiny and was thrilled to find that it could magically vomit up any item he desired in exchange for food. As the beast grew larger, so did its demands for unusual dishes, until Ebenezer’s reliance on it to continue living causes him to sacrifice some of the world’s rarest (and subsequently extinct) creatures. Now though, the beast wants to eat a child.
After more than five hundred years or getting what he wants, Ebenezer’s own interests severely disrupt his moral compass and he sets off to find a child to satisfy the creature. His theory is based on finding a child so obnoxious that he can feel justified in removing it from the world. This is where orphaned Bethany comes in; she could have written the rule-book on naughtiness.
However, as Ebenezer begins to fatten her up to feed to the beast, something strange begins to happen. He discovers that caring for someone other than himself can be rewarding and Bethany learns that building a positive relationship isn’t as horrible as she expected. Will they find a way to vanquish the beast before Ebenezer dies of old age and Bethany is eaten for lunch?
A laugh out loud tale that with comic and sinister strands that Roald Dahl and Lemony Snicket fans will love.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to our Review Panel member for reviewing it.
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