About the Book
Beauty comes at a price. And no one knows that better than Ebenezer Tweezer, who has stayed beautiful for 511 years. How, you may wonder? Ebenezer simply has to feed the beast in the attic of his mansion. In return for meals of performing monkeys, statues of Winston Churchill, and the occasional cactus, Ebenezer gets potions that keep him young and beautiful, as well as other presents.
But the beast grows ever greedier with each meal, and one day he announces that he’d like to eat a nice, juicy child next. Ebenezer has never done anything quite this terrible to hold onto his wonderful life. Still, he finds the absolutely snottiest, naughtiest, and most frankly unpleasant child he can and prepares to feed her to the beast.
The child, Bethany, may just be more than Ebenezer bargained for. She’s certainly a really rather rude houseguest, but Ebenezer still finds himself wishing she didn’t have to be gobbled up after all. Could it be Bethany is less meal-worthy and more…friend-worthy?
When you open this book, you enter a world full of macabre humor, a grisly magical beast, and a spunky young girl who will win your heart.
What I Loved
I loved the story within the story of a young girl and an unusually older man who filled a need each had for friendship and love. Both characters changed as a result, and the effects are nothing short of magical. This story is very heartwarming at its core, and the characters are endearingly flawed to a point where any other ending to this story would not work.
I loved the illustrations found throughout the tale. They fit the story’s tone perfectly, reflecting the humor and wit of the words surrounding them. I don’t often get the opportunity to enjoy illustrations, much less talk about them, so that makes these all the more special.
I love the characters, especially Bethany, whose snarky wit accomplishes something that Ebenezer has been unable to do in over 500 years. As a parent, I just wanted to hug her and give her the love that a cruel twist of fate stole from her at a tender young age. Kids will laugh at her antics and delight in her bad choices as well as her smart ones.
The Beast is a magical blob of goo that will horrify and disgust readers and happily route for its demise. I can hear the screams of “Eew!” from kids paying rapt attention as the story unfolds. Don’t let the gooey essence distract you from seeing the wily cunningness at the heart of this Beast lest you be his next victim.
To Read or Not to Read
I can easily see this book being a new favorite for kids and adults, though make sure the child is old enough not to be terrified of the Beast.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.