135. One Beastly Beast

One Beastly Beast (Two Aliens, Three Inventors, Four Fantastic Tales) by Garth Nix
Illustrated by Brian Biggs

Pages: 158
Finished: July 31, 2008
First Published: 2007
Genre: children's, fantasy, humour
Rating: 4/5

Reason for Reading: I am reading the author's books and this is the last one I haven't read.

First sentence:

"Take these videos back to the store, please," said Peter's mom.

Comments: This is a collection of four novellas for younger children ages 7 to 10. Three of the stories were previously published in Australia as short chapter books and the fourth is new to this collection. Each story is delightful. Silly, over-the-top fantasy or fairy tale stories that made me chuckle and I'm sure will make children laugh out loud. Simply put, each story is just a whole lot of fun. The accompanying illustrations are also delightful. Done in a modern cartoonish manner they are perfect for the humour of the stories. The following works are included in this collection:

Blackbread the Pirate (1999) - A goofy tale that starts off as a play on the words "video piracy". A boy meets some pirate rats who steal his DVDs, then the rat navy comes along and shrinks him down to size so he can come along to the Neverworld and help them defeat Blackbread the scourge of pirates.

The Princess and the Beastly Beast (2007) - Poor princess, her father is a wizard and her mother is a retired warrior princess. She's bored because there are not ogres, dragons, monsters, moat monsters, beasts or other creatures anywhere near so she decides to run away. On her journey she meets a huge beast who promptly eats her and the princess finally has an adventure.

Bill the Inventor (1998) - Bill is an orphan who was left on the steps of the orphanage wrapped in a large banana peel. For many years no parents come to adopt him so the owner, a kindly lady, starts to seek out parents for him and he is presented with a chorus of pirate parents, wizard parents and alien parents.

Serena and the Sea Serpent (2000) - A sea serpent keeps smashing into ships out in the bay and the towns along the shore leave a little girl on a rock in the middle of the bay to appease him. One day the event has happened again and Serena Smith volunteers to be the sacrifice. You see Serena had an accident as a baby in her inventor father's laboratory. It was a freak accident and she ended up having the knowledge of 57 encyclopedias in 12 languages. Serena thinks that if she just talks to the serpent maybe she can solve the problem. This was my favourite story in the book.


  1. This one sounds great! I have almost bought it a couple of times... next time I see it, I won' be able to resist.


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