There are plenty of scary creatures out in the woods. Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! But what else could there be? Ferocious Wild Beasts is a book about just that – except it is also a book about how things are not always what they seem.
Jack lives near a forest. His mother tells him that dangerous beasts live in the forest and Jack should always be careful. Until one day, horribly, Jack becomes lost in the forest. He’s frightened about what sort of creatures he might encounter. And then he meets a few of them, but they’re actually quite friendly, so he’s sure they can’t be what his mother is talking about. So he makes sure to warn them about all the other dangerous things, and they’re a little worried too. Even more so when they hear a big roar! What’s lurking in the forest? And can Jack get out without being eaten up?
Chris Wormell makes an interesting book where fear is overcome by things not so scary. Or at least, the supposedly scary things aren’t so scary after all. It’s an interesting, goofy twist on an idea where bears and elephants are just as worried about scary creatures as Jack! Ferocious Wild Beasts is one of those stories that will make kids giggle and parents glad they picked it up. Wormell has won several awards for his past children’s books, so it might not come as a surprise should he win a little something for this one.
The illustrations are quite realistic; none of the cartoony silly stuff here, though it is quite comical to see an elephant sitting on his behind and conversing with bears and lions. For kids 5 to 8, it’s a great bedtime story that puts fear in its place, leaving kids free to dream of silly things and feel good. Witty text and the fun illustrations entertain, making this a book that can easily become a favorite. Ferocious Wild Beasts was just released in late 2009, but it’s quite likely to get some notice from parents and kids alike.