Kids’ Book: The Lonely Beast (Chris Judge)

I’ve always had a cherished collection of childhood books (including a big hardcover book of The Lorax by Dr Seuss), and discovering a heap of new books with their fantastic, gorgeous images is one of the delights of reading with the kids. We are weekly library visitors, alternating the two city council places between which we are happily sandwiched. Both of them love books and having stories read to them. I find it soul-nourishing to see them so enamoured of books/reading. It makes me think that, no matter what they may face in their lives, having this love of narrative and enjoying an imaginative interior life will always stand them in good stead.

I almost started up a blog that presented reviews and recommendations of the kids’ books that our family has loved, but reality kicked in and I deleted it. There was no way I was going to post there regularly. I have trouble enough with this one and Academia 101 (poor, neglected Academia 101 [ETA 5 Feb 2012: which I ended up killing because I started up The Research Whisperer with Jonathan O’Donnell in June 2011]).

Right now, however, I can’t resist posting about my latest favourite.

On the way to meeting a friend for lunch yesterday, I found myself browsing around the Hill of Content bookshop (which is an excellent place to wander and feed the mind and empty the wallet…). They have a great selection of children’s books at the back of the store, and I felt compelled to have a look. Just for fun.

And I found The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge. I loved it on sight, before I’d even read it.  Here’s one of the images from the book:

The story is an engaging and sweet one, understated yet richly illustrated. It’s a tale of exploration, bravery, and trying to find like-minded friends. I’ve just downloaded some Beast wallpaper for my desktop; I’ve turned into a fan. The Lonely Beast is Judge’s first children’s book.

The irony of all this is that E. is actually scared of the book; she said it’s because of the Beast’s claw-like hands. I have read it to her twice, but the fact that she won’t be left alone in the room with the book indicates that maybe – just maybe – it’ll be much more my favourite than hers. For the moment.


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