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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Beast of Monsieur Racine (The)
by Tomi Ungerer
Age Range: 6-8
One morning Monsieur Racine wakes up to find that his award-winning fruit from his pear tree has disappeared. There is not a single pear left! Discovering that the culprit is a strange looking beast with long floppy ears and a shaggy mane, his anger gives way to curiosity and an unlikely friendship is born. Monsieur and the Beast spend much time together; the Beast especially enjoys ice cream so Monsieur Racine ‘installed, at great expense, a refrigeration system, to preserve vats of ice-cream delivered from the city’. It is only when they are invited to the Academy of Sciences that the true nature of the beast is revealed.
The Beast of Monsieur Racine by Tomi Ungerer, one of the world’s most acclaimed children’s authors, was first published in German in 1972. It is a playful tale that emphasises the value of friendship. The story’s droll, slightly old-fashioned style underlines a sophistication that is a trademark of Ungerer. The clever illustrations and unexpected ending will appeal to children and adults alike.