Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Bernard by Rob Jones (Beast in Show Books)


Written and Illustrated by
Rob Jones

Published by Beast in Show Books

Sometimes, the subtle art of reading a children's book out loud is something that I can overcook a bit. Some books are quite tough to lend a unique 'voice' to, and some books have you tripping over your own tongue as they flow like a pile of bricks being tipped out of a rusty wheelbarrow down a flight of concrete stairs.

No worries on that score with the divine, the delicious and the downright brilliant "Bernard" by Rob Jones (talented, those Abingdon folk are, eh?)

In the velvety horror-narrator overtones of a slightly gruff Vincent Price I cuddled up with Charlotte as we read "Bernard", a tale that begins with a terrifying glimpse or two at a mysterious beast, a huge black shaggy wild snarling gnashing dog!

A-WOOOOO! Bring out your preserves! We demand the finest preserves!

The local villagers are terrified! "Bernard" the dog is huge, voracious and his tummy is rumbling. What on earth will save them from a terrible fate at the jaws of this fearsome canine?

Well, having a few jars of jam stacked in the larder might just be your saviour!

We loved Bernard. Rob has balanced the slow-burn build up of tension with every page turn absolutely perfectly, as finely tuned as some of our most favourite screamtastic children's books.

It's a brilliant debut for Rob, a fantastic first book from Beast in Show (we urge you to watch both like hawks, they're going to be ma-hooooo-sive!)

Won't even eat HAM? Let me introduce you to my friend Sam-I-Am...!

Sadly, the jam was a sticking point (pun intended) for Charlotte who cannot abide the stuff (strange, very strange child) but thankfully there was an equally fearsome and hungry beast at home who thought it was truly gorgeous (though this particular beast hath not a hair on its head, despite often howling at the moon!)

"Bernard" by Rob Jones is available from Beast in Show Books - and we feel we really ought to also mention that Bernard's jam is available from these gloriously talented and award winning jammy folk at The Fruity Kitchen too!

Charlotte's best bit: Bernard's big black slavering jaws! EEEEK!

Daddy's Favourite bit: A rip-roaring belter of a book, brilliant for building up to its sweet and satisfying finale! YAY for Bernard, more please!

(Kindly sent to us for review by the awesome folk at Beast in Show)