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

Thursday 3 November 2022

Review: The Bewilderbeast

The Bewilderbeast is a story about tracking down the truth and hunting for monsters in the deep dark jungle. 

The story begins with a tracker (who happens to be a fox) that visits a jungle-y town and is promised gold if he can track down some monsters. 

The townsfolk here have seen FOUR monsters and have got themselves into quite a state over them and need someone to help sort it out!


The tracker asks the villagers to describe the monsters, but he can’t get a simple description –

‘They’re horrific!' Some shouted. 'Bizarre!' Others claimed. They were wary and scared, no two stories the same. 

The tracker decides the only way he will get to the bottom of it, is to go see for himself. 

It doesn’t take long for the tracker to find the first monster, but all he sees is an unusual tail that is long, pink and pronged. Before he can see the rest of the monster, it bounces away. Shortly after, he spots some monstrous feet, and other strange body parts of different monsters – even knees with horns in them!


Once he has tracked all the monsters, he thinks his deed is done and informs the villagers that yes – there are indeed four monsters living nearby! That is until he sees something else. Is it a new monster? Or are they all one and the same? Do the townsfolk even want to figure it out, or will the end result be too scary and strange? 


The Bewilderbeast is a funny rhyming story that is great to read out loud. It is quite wordy so will appeal best to slightly older audiences, and I think it would be well suited for a classroom. The plot of finding different monster parts keeps the pages turning. It also teaches kids about gossip and making sure you have the full story before judging a situation. 


The illustrations are full of bright jungle colours and the animals are all so sweet. The rhyming is superb and musical. The Bewilderbeast is a magical story of fun that will keep you guessing and will definitely suit group readings.

Title: The Bewilderbeast
Author: Josh Pyke
Illustrator: Binny Talib
Publisher: Scholastic, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 August, 2022
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760971045
For ages: 3 - 7
Type: Picture Book