Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mr Beast - Charlie and Dad go Monster Mad by James Sage and Russell Ayto (HarperCollins Children's Books)


Mr Beast - Charlie and Dad go Monster Mad

Written by James Sage

Illustrated by Russell Ayto

Published by HarperCollins Children's Books

At home, we alternate who gets to read a story and put Charlotte to Bed. Usually, my lovely other half The Strolling Mum insists that bedtime is calm time, that the aim of the last few minutes before Charlotte hits the land of nod are for quiet calm storytelling, a cuddle, a kiss and then goodnight.

Of course, when it's my bedtime, I can't really resist doing the exact opposite so we're always doing something daft. Practicing our ninja moves, pretending to be invisible or - of course - pretending that I'm a big monster that likes eating tummy pie.

That was probably James Sage's inspiration for "Mr Beast" - a storybook where a young boy is ready for bed, but who is lurking outside the bedroom door? Who is that creeping in from the shed? Who is climbing up the ivy at the side of the house to come clattering and stomping down the chimney? MR BEAST!

Mr Beast's identity is something you'll probably guess within the first few pages of the book, but like all great tales where the author builds a little tension and excitement with each turn of the page, Mr Beast delivers such a brilliant payload of fun that you can't resist it. We love James' storytelling, we love Russell Ayto's trademark crazy and surreal artwork (we love the way he draws big open mouths with huge time-tunnel spirals in them!)

So forget calm bedtime books about cuddles and stuff, go for a beastly end to the day instead!


Charlotte's best bit: Mr Beast coming down the chimney "Like santa, but messier!"

Daddy's Favourite bit: Wholly identify with the dad in this book, and I'm sure my lovely other half identifies with the exasperated mum!

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