One Beastly Beast: Two Aliens, Three Inventors, Four Fantastic Tales

Overview

One beastly beast that's more than meets the eye.

Two aliens with slimy tentacles and too many eyes fixed on adopting a human son.

Three inventors and a sea serpent, a princess, an orphanage, and two ships full of pirates.

Four fantastic tales by renowned fantasy author Garth Nix.

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Overview

One beastly beast that's more than meets the eye.

Two aliens with slimy tentacles and too many eyes fixed on adopting a human son.

Three inventors and a sea serpent, a princess, an orphanage, and two ships full of pirates.

Four fantastic tales by renowned fantasy author Garth Nix.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Successfully training his sights on a middle-grade audience, the acclaimed Nix (the Abhorsen trilogy) presents a quartet of wacky yarns set in fantasy-laced worlds and topped off with plenty of wordplay. In the first, Peter is on his way to return DVDs to the rental store when four rats dressed as pirates steal them. ("We be video pirates, and those there discs will fetch us a pretty sum.") A crew of Navy rats escorts the boy down the sewer to "the Neverworld," where he helps defeat the bread-wielding pirate Blackbread. The second caper stars a bored princess, daughter of a former "full-time warrior maiden" and a wizard, whose quest for adventure brings her inside a "magical clockwork monster" that she erroneously expects is planning to attack her kingdom. A third tale introduces a boy living in an orphanage who finally finds his parents after escaping adoption by pirates and the reach of a pair of "hideously squidgy, lumpy, slimy, sweaty, yellow-tentacled, bulbous-eyed aliens," and the final story centers on one of 17 sisters who helps her town face a sea serpent that is damaging boats, capturing girls and turning them into "penguinmaids." Biggs (the Shredderman series) renders even the most monstrous creatures as ludicrous rather than gruesome in his lighthearted cartoons, laid out here with wit and a good eye for visual rhythm. Ages 7-11. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Rodent video pirates leap out of grated manholes in the opening story of this amusing collection. They've snatched Peter's mother's DVD, so what's a kid to do? In other stories, Princess Chlorinda discovers that the beastly beast on the battlements isn't what it appears to be; Bill the orphan finds out that picking the right parents can be challenging, if not downright dangerous; and Serena, youngest of sixteen siblings with "S" names, finds a little space for herself when she's transformed into a Penguinmaid. Nix, known for his slantwise look at fairy tale, fantasy, and historical themes for older readers (see Lady Friday), aims this collection at the chapter book crowd with a blend of irreverent humor and quick-paced narrative. You will find pirates and royalty, orphans and a young genius here, but their stories are interesting precisely because they're unconventionally plotted. Bill has his share of problems, but orphanhood per se isn't one of them. Escaping from the sea monster isn't the goal for Serena, and so on. Quirky and appropriately placed secondary adult characters (like Mrs. O'Squealin of the orphanage, and the Princess Rinda's charmingly distracted parents) also inhabit these engaging stories that blend magical and everyday elements in unexpected ways.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-5
These four gently tongue-in-cheek adventures pit clever youngsters against unusual creatures-pirate rats who steal DVDs, aliens, a mechanical dragon, and a misunderstood sea serpent. Each time, clueless adult authorities ignore or are stymied by the supposed menace, but the hero is able to resolve the situation successfully and nonviolently. There is a strong emphasis on creativity and individual initiative, and a gentle reminder that brains are better than brawn. Black-and-white cartoon illustrations complement the lighthearted tone. The positive message and amusing stories make this a good choice for younger fantasy fans.
—Elaine E. KnightCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

ALA Booklist
“Droll ink drawings illustrate these fresh, light, and engaging stories.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780007234097
  • Publisher: Gardners Books
  • Publication date: 4/2/2007
  • Age range: 7 - 11 Years

Meet the Author

Garth Nix grew up in Canberra, Australia. Besides being a full-time writer, he has worked as a sales rep, publicist, editor, marketing communications consultant, literary agent, and part-time soldier. He is the author of Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen, the books in the internationally bestselling Abhorsen trilogy, as well as Shade's Children and The Ragwitch. He now lives in Sydney, a five-minute walk from Coogee Beach, with his wife, Anna, his sons, Thomas and Edward, and lots of books.

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Read an Excerpt

One Beastly Beast
Two Aliens, Three Inventors, Four Fantastic Tales

Chapter One

"Take these videos back to the store, please," said Peter's mom. She took two DVDs out of her shopping bag and handed them to her son. "They have to be back by two o'clock or they cost extra."

"Okay," said Peter. Anything to get away from the boredom of following his mother around. "Which video store, Mom?"

"VideoPleaseMe," said his mom as she locked the car. "Right over there. Then come straight over to the supermarket."

"Yes, Mom," said Peter, rolling his eyes. Anyone would think he was still a little kid, not a fifth grader.

"And no, you can't have any money to rent games for your Xbox," added his mom as Peter opened his mouth.

"Yes, Mom," said Peter.

Peter trudged over to the store, pretending that he was slow-marching in a procession. He held the two DVDs out in front of him like some sort of ceremonial regalia. The sacred videos of the king, he thought, and laughed.

"Make way for the king's videos," he said in a mock-regal voice to no one in particular as he crossed the parking lot.

"King's videos!" said a voice that seemed to come from somewhere ahead of him and somehow down below.

Peter stopped pretending to be the king and looked around to see who was talking. But there was no one around. Just one lady getting into her car. The voice sounded low and gruff. It couldn't have come from her.

"Down here, matey!"

It was louder now. A deep and slightly nasty voice that made Peter think of running away. But he took a quick, deep breath instead . . . and lookeddown.

One Beastly Beast
Two Aliens, Three Inventors, Four Fantastic Tales
. Copyright © by Garth Nix. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Mechele R. Dillard for TeensReadToo.com

    Fantasy writer Garth Nix has created a short story collection for the younger set. Exploring the underworld of rat pirates; adoptions of Earthlings by odd, tentacled aliens; a princess literally searching the belly of the beast; and a brainiac solving the dilemmas of a kindhearted sea serpent, Nix introduces young readers to the possibilities of the imagination between the covers of a book. <BR/><BR/>ONE BEASTLY BEAST is an excellent choice for the reluctant reader. The full manuscript is around 120 pages, which can make a RR groan. However, each story is only about a quarter of the book, so readers can actually finish a single storyline very quickly. Additionally, illustrator Brian Biggs provides a number of illustrations to kick-start the imaginations of readers who might need a little extra motivation to continue to the end. <BR/><BR/>Possibly the strongest point regarding the construction of this book, however, is that even though it is a collection of four short stories, Nix still divides each story into chapters, thus giving young readers a taste of chapter books, as well as further dividing the reading challenge into smaller bites for the most reluctant of readers. <BR/><BR/>For those who are looking for something that will motivate a boy to read, this book will do just that, with pirates, rats, inventors, and aliens. Nix doesn't forget about his young female audience, however; they will love the adventure-seeking princess, penguinmaids, and the super-smart Serena, who saves the day with her bravery and willingness to dig deeper and understand the heart of a vegetarian sea serpent. <BR/><BR/>Overall, this is a book for every young reader; Nix has scored a fantasy winner with ONE BEASTLY BEAST (TWO ALIENS, THREE INVENTORS, FOUR FANTASTIC TALES).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2007

    Short Stories

    Four great short stories of monsters, aliens villans and more that all children will enjoy as did my son and myself.

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