'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Monday, 23 March 2015

Review: A Tale of Two Beasts

Put simply? This is such a charming story. Not only does it do 'different' so beautifully well, it has a classic narrative with a beautifully-thought-out plot that both embraces and goes beyond the classic picture book structure.

Although the word count is succinct, Fiona Roberton manages to engage the reader with not one, but two parts to this tale--from the first-person perspective of not one but two 'beasts'.

The story is about a little girl and a wild, terrible beast she endeavours to turn into a pet. Of course, wild is not easily tamed, and our narrator struggles to understand why (despite caring so intensely for him) the creature escapes through her open window.

But wait ... he soon returns. But why?

Enter part two: from the beast's perspective. The same story told from the angle of the 'squirrel'. It explains all.

Deliciously fun and also very funny, this is a clever picture book and one of my absolute favourites of 2015 so far. I've long admired Fiona's books, and her creations just get better and better--from her beautiful, modern illustrations with divine retro colourways, to her use of subtle emotion and beautifully-crafted, clear text that's so easy to read and enjoy, with not a skerric of overediting or pretentious wording in sight.

Love. Love. Love. Don't miss it.

Title: A Tale of Two Beasts
Author/Illustrator: Fiona Roberton
Publisher: Hachette Children's, $24.99 RRP
Publication Date: 9 December 2014
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781444916720
For ages: 2 - 8
Type: Picture Book

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