Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Day Louis Got Eaten by John Fardell (Andersen Children's Books)

Monster books, monster books, how we love our monster books - and this book in particular gives us not one, not two, not three, not four but FIVE brilliant monsters to run away screaming from.

A young boy, Louis, and his big sister Sarah go scooting off into the woods one sunny afternoon and before they can get much further than the end of the dusty path to their house, Louis gets eaten! A lolloping fuzz-covered nasty gulps him down - but Big Sis is no fool, without pausing for thought she grabs something very useful and gives chase.

Things go from bad to worse as the ever resourceful Sarah modifies her bike to chase after a nasty bird that's eaten the first monster, then a fish that eats the bird...and

Ah, you see I should stop right there - for fear of spoiling the plot as it's great to see the cascade effect of a whole menagerie of monsters who cause utter mayhem for Sarah as she struggles to keep up with the various beasties that scoff poor Louis.

There are some utterly great page spreads in this, not least of all at the very end of the book - which again we can't really spoil for you. Fardell is an illustrative genius, managing to build and populate a linear world but fill it with danger, excitement, wonder and a teeny tiny tad of gruesomeness when you see what poor Sarah has to go through to try and get her brother back.

Great payoffs all the way through. Utterly fabulous!

Charlotte's best bit: Spotting the impending doom as each creature sneakily hides and stalks before pouncing, eek!

Daddy's favourite bit: The breathtaking and exciting last few pages. Just look at the detail in those spreads. Wish I could draw like that.