I’m delving into the world of kid’s books today. In a time of doubt and fear regarding the future, this brought a much welcome smile to my face.
The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips
The most exciting new children’s book of 2020 and a modern classic in the making. The Beast and the Bethany has all the classic macabre humour of Roald Dahl with the warmth and charm of Despicable Me, finished off with a gleeful bite of Little Shop of Horrors! This book should be on every little monster’s birthday and Christmas list.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .
The Beast and the Bethany is a funny story with just the right level of disgusting that kids will enjoy. I mean, the beast is just so horrible. The wonderful illustrations in this book, along with descriptions of slime and rotten cabbage, bring him to life, so much so that maybe he even becomes a little too close for comfort.
The beast also has a horrid personality – he wants to to eat everything and everyone! That’s not to say that the other characters are wonderful either. While they may not be out to eat anybody, Bethany and Ebenezer also have very few morals and are filled with flaws, albeit still rather likeable.
Kids will enjoy learning whether or not Bethany ends up been eaten by the beast. While most adults will enjoy that storyline too, they will also appreciate the underlying themes of the book: the importance of friendship and standing up to bullies.
Written using simple but impactful language, The Beast and the Bethany is a quick read that all age groups will enjoy. A little birdie told me there is a sequel in the works. I can’t wait!
The Beast and the Bethany is available to buy from December 8th, 2020.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.