Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE LONELY BEAST 123 by Chris Judge


by Chris Judge ; illustrated by Chris Judge ; developed by James Kelleher

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: Nov. 14th, 2013
Publisher: James Kelleher

A day at the Beast’s house, from opening 1 curtain in the morning to counting 12 sheep that night.

The numbers—presented as digits in the top corner of each cartoon illustration—come with tap-activated vocalizations. Chimes are triggered by further taps on, for instance, 4 eggs to drop them one by one into a frying pan or 9 cakes that vanish with munching sounds. Though drawn as a shaggy silhouette with blinking yellow eyes, Judge’s “beast” is not so much scary as a deadpan comical figure. He farts in the bathtub when tapped, is splattered by one of the 7 birds in a tree overhead and dresses as 8 characters in a set of framed wall portraits. These offer greetings, from a cowboy’s “Howdy” to a hippie’s “Hey, maaan.” Aside from a button on the final screen labeled “Buy the book” that leads to the author’s webpage but not to a print version, the overall design, presentation and interactive effects work together seamlessly.

Even numerate children can count on being entertained by this tongue-in-cheek companion to The Lonely Beast ABC (2013). (iPad counting app. 2-4)