This book is not for the faint hearted! There’s Slobber, dribble and gore galore, hairy moments and scary moments, a greedy, gruesome, vomiting beast, stinky exotic birds and so much more!
‘The Beast and the Bethany’ is an absolutely brilliant, gloriously dark, romp of a read! Geniusly addictive and packed with the kind of macabre humour that kids love and that makes adults squirm!
I must admit, I approached the book with caution – not my normal cup of tea I thought. But wow, how wrong was I?! I spent a day lost in its pages and devoured it in one fell swoop! I don’t know if I was spellbound by it’s magical mystery but I just could not stop turning the pages! Like the beast, I was hungry for more!
So on the first page we meet the curious character Ebeneezer Tweezer, a 511 year old (approaching 512) housing a beast in the attic of his 15-storey mansion. The pair have a relationship of mutual need – ET feeds the beast whatever he demands in exchange for gifts vomited from the depths of the extraordinary creature’s boiled cabbage smelling insides. Yuck! Over the centuries Tweezer has benefitted greatly from the beasts vomit, adorning his lavish house with luxury (think diamond chandeliers) and feeding himself a super powerful youth elixir (think no more wrinkles, no more bad joints and instead a constant injection of boundless energy).
All is going swimmingly well until one day the beast’s food fancy is a child. Ebeneezer is in desperate need of his beast vomited anti-ageing potion so heads for the local orphanage (after failed attempts at child snatching at the local zoo) and chooses the vilest little person to take home to fill the beast’s belly. This little person being the headstrong, argumentative, stubborn and uncontrollable Bethany.
The beast demands that Ebeneezer feeds Bethany up before he devours her. Giving both ET and Bethany time to get to know each other. At first their relationship is fiery, each not a fan of the other but this begins to change. The unlikely friendship filling the lonely holes in their lives that neither knew they had.
So, will the beast end up munching on the juicy child he so desires? You’ll have to read it to find out! But if I tell you ‘The Beast and the Bethany 2’ is due in 2021 there’s a little clue that this book is far more complicated than an easy feeding day for the gruesome beast!
Jack Meggitt-Phillips has created a masterpiece, urging his readers to laugh, grimace, squeal and gasp all on the same page. The illustrations by Isabelle Follath gloriously complement the gruesome text and make this an entertaining triumph for readers both young and old!