It's always exciting to receive a new picture book to review and "The Fearsome Beastie" was quite a treat. It cast me back to childhood when we were threatened with the bogeyman if we didn't behave.
The Fearsome Beastie is quite a threat as he eats children (there's seven live next door to me that he's quite welcome to!) The story is told in simple rhyme that is fun to read out loud and easy for children to memorise, and the dark humour appeals to adults too.
The children try to hide from the Fearsome Beastie but he is sly and cunning at hunting them down. By pretending to be lonely and just wanting to play, he gets a meal - an important lesson in not talking to strangers.
In the end, in a scene that is reminiscent of Red Riding Hood, Granny saves the day by chopping the Beastie in two so that the children can escape.
The story is superbly illustrated by Gabriel Antonini, in a style that reminded me of another famous beastie, 'the Gruffalo'. The beastie is scary, but not so scary that children would be too frightened to look at the book. The expressions of fear on the children's faces is well-captured and Granny is a great character with her big bloomers.
All in all, an entertaining, well-written and beautifully illustrated book that deserves to be a bed-time favourite.