What’s the most unforgettable thing your BFF ever said to you? If it sounded like, “Hoobah!”, you’re in for a world of adventure.
In Beast Friends Forever: Meet the Beast, by Nate and Vince Evans, young Zeke and his sister Hannah receive a package from their military father, currently stationed near the Bermuda Triangle. The package is supposed to be full of candy, but instead, it’s full of…Otto!
Otto is Zeke and Hannah’s new beast—I mean best…no, I think I do mean beast, friend. He’s a feisty little creature who loves candy, sleeps in one of Zeke’s sneakers, and spells words like Keep Owt, and Myne, like a kindergartener.
But Otto isn’t your run-of-the-mill monster; he does magic. Through the wonders of Swap-OH (Otto’s description of how he’s able to transform things), Otto changes swing sets into giraffes, pictures into flying dragons, and his own tiny body into a big, hulking mass of adorable monster. With his help, Hannah enjoys a wonderful new adventure with her brother, Zeke is able to thwart big, thick Sid Slamburg, the school bully, and both Zeke and Hannah are better able to deal with their sadness over their father’s absence.
Beast Friends Forever is one creative book. I know, I know; you’re probably thinking that the “monster under the bed” premise isn’t new, and you’re right, it isn’t. But I feel the storyline has enough of a twist to keep children reading—and giggling–until the very last page, and the format is most unusual, in that it combines text, illustrations and comic strips all rolled into one. You see, artist Vince Edwards keeps readers in stitches with his hilarious sketches, but his meticulously-detailed comic strips right inside the book make readers do a double-take. The comics elaborate on such things as Zeke’s dreams, classroom dilemmas, and Otto’s frolic inside a hamster cage. This special twist in format gives the book a nice “graphic novel” appeal, and is sure to satisfy the hungry eyeballs of the typical middle grade reader.
So, if you don’t want your day to stink like Walrus burps (Zeke’s phrase, not mine!) be sure to pick up a copy of Beast Friends Forever. It’s the perfect book for your book-loving middle-grader.
Best wishes and happy Hoobah!–I mean, reading,
PICTURE BOOK DEPOT