Review Blog

Mar 25 2020

Beetle and Boo by Caitlin Murray

cover image

Puffin Books, 2020. ISBN: 9780143796565. 24pp.
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Beetle is adamant that he is not afraid of anything. Nothing phases him, but Book is sure there must be something. He tries different things that others are frightened of; spiders, the dark, ghosts, bad dreams, thunder and lightning. But each time, the answer is no, nope, never, uh-uh or not at all. So Boo tries the reason behind his name, and scares Beetle from is perch on Book's head.
At last he has found something that Beetle is scared of and each of their reactions causes a lot of laughter from the friends.
The relationship between the two friends is wonderfully portrayed in the text and illustrations. The size of Boo compared with his beetle friend will be a source of merriment amongst the readers and they will enjoy the humorous conversation between the two as they try to find something Beetle is scared of. In doing this they are discussing common childhood fears and by rejecting them, undermine their importance in the children's lives.
The illustrations show a funny aspect of the fear, spiders playing in a band and afternoon tea with the big bad wolf, while Beetle and Boo meander along through it all, Beetle unaffected and Boo trying very hard, but in the end it is Book that shows Beetle that perhaps there is one little thing he fears, but because he is his friend, it is not fearful after all. This is a neat way of starting a discussion about fears. Themes: Animals, Humour, Fears.
Fran Knight

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