The Fearsome Beastie by Giles Paley-Phillips
August 4, 2011 in Cause and Effect, Elementary Educators, Making Personal Connections, Paley-Phillips Giles, Personal Connections, Picture Book, Preschool to 1st grade teachers, Reading Skills, Shared Writing Tags: Paley-Phillips Giles, picture books about Nigeria, picture books about strangers, picture books for boys
*Picture book, fantasy, for preschool (?) to third graders
*Young boy as main character
*Rating: The Fearsome Beastie is a beautifully illustrated picture book with a unique story–it’s a bit dark–you’ll either love it or think it’s not appropriate. I liked it, I see the value in it, and I can imagine KIDS WILL LOVE IT! It reminds me a bit of the violence in fairy tales, especially Little Red Riding Hood and Three Little Pigs. You should definitely read it before sharing it with your child or class to make sure it’s good for you and your kids!
Short, short summary: Told in rhyme, the fearsome beastie is patrolling the streets, looking for kids to meet. He befriends and tricks some kids, and then he eats them! Yes, it’s not a happy, go-lucky book. One kid, Pete, escapes and gets his grandma, who goes after the beastie with an axe. She saves the day, and the kids learn that beasties who pick on you will surely end up as beastie stew. (NO children are harmed in this book, and all children survive the beastie feast.)
So, what do I do with this book:
1. The obvious lesson (to me anyway) is that children should not talk to strangers or trust strangers like the children do in the book. This book can open a discussion on stranger danger and how to handle yourself in a situation when someone strange is getting too close. It might be easier for young children to talk about or deal with these concepts if they have a picture book to relate to.
2. What do students think of Pete’s plan? If they were Pete, what would they have done? How else could the children solve this problem? Younger students can illustrate a picture and write a sentence to go with it. Older students can try to create a rhymed stanza of text like the author.
3. Young children like to pick out the rhyming words in text. Once they pick a pair, write it on chart paper and see if others can come up with words that rhyme with the pair.