This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Beast and the Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Phillips, Isabelle Follath
Published by Egmont on October 1st 2020
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The most exciting new children's book of 2020 and a modern classic in the making. The Beast and the Bethany has all the classic macabre humour of Roald Dahl with the warmth and charm of Despicable Me, finished off with a gleeful bite of Little Shop of Horrors! This book should be on every little monster's birthday and Christmas list.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan . . .”
Thank you to the publisher Egmont, Netgalley, and The Write Reads for the free copy as part of the book tour. Read my honest opinion below.
The Beast and The Bethany by Jack Meggitt-Philips is the perfect children’s book for this Halloween. The blurb and the cover immediately reminded me of Roald Dahl’s book and A Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s the kind of children’s book that looks at the ugly side of life in a humorous way. Before I even started reading, the pictures already drew me in.
The story isn’t too grand as it has a small cast of characters, with Ebenezer and Bethany in the spotlight. The beast doesn’t have any other name besides beast and I think that’s doing him a disservice. I would’ve liked it if he got a name too. He eats things and spews out something you desire — a skill Ebenezer profited off for five hundred years. Then comes the day that the beast asks to eat a child. Ebenezer already knew the perfect child, one no one would miss. Bethany.
Both characters have their flaws but neither are completely evil. And I really like how they change when they’re together. While their core flaws don’t change, both grow to be kinder people. Ebenezer will always be a little selfish and Bethany likes her mischief. But in moderation, there’s no harm. I do feel bad for the birds though.
I give The Beast and The Bethany four stars. It’s an entertaining, well-written, and beautifully illustrated book. One I’d give to one of my nieces or nephews if they’d read English. I’m looking forward to what the duo will be up to next.