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This is out in January but I have to review it now because I totally love it.

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In A Tale of Two Beasts, Fiona Robertson’s fourth book, you see the same story told from two different perspectives. A little girl is on her way home from seeing her Grandma, walking through the deep dark woods, when she spies a beast who is sad. So she takes him home and pets him in the thorough and attentive way only a little girl could, including putting him in a beautiful house (a cardboard box) with her favourite toy. But he keeps acting strangely and rather ungratefully makes a bid for freedom.

Part two is told from the little wolf’s point of view – how he is outrageously kidnapped (he was completely NOT sad) and shoved in a box with nothing to do and no branch to hang from. He is bent on escape and finally manages it.

But in the end, he does return and they both conclude that the other one is not that strange after all.

This is such a clever and refreshing read – and all the more marvellous for having the fairy tale motif of Little Red Riding Hood (so gets a double thumbs up from me).

The kids particularly loved the wolf’s facial expressions when he is clearly not enjoying himself but the little girl thinks she’s making him happy. And in spite of himself, being a wild beast and all, he is terribly cute. I would definitely have rescued him if I’d been walking past him.

It was a great discussion starter as well in terms of seeing the same situation from two sides (like why mummy does not want you to have spy laser trip wires for Christmas but you want them with every fibre of your being)

Funny, original and with depth – what a great read to start the New Year with.

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