Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘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)
by Bertrand Santini
Age Range: 6-8
The Yark loves children. He’s a blood-thirsty child-eating monster; a discerning gourmet who dreams of ham of boy, orphan gratin, school child puree, breaded babies and girl rillettes. But the Yark is not like any other monster because his delicate stomach can only tolerate the flesh of good children. Medical studies have shown that naughtiness modifies a child’s chemical composition so their flesh becomes more toxic which means the Yark must choose carefully. He would much rather feast on bullies and spoilt children because he doesn’t enjoy devouring the innocent ones, but this noble sentiment will not feed his stomach, so alas he must continue to battle with his conscience. However, with not nearly enough good, edible children around starvation beckons. Then the Yark chances upon delicious, sweet Madeleine. Will he gobble her up? Or will she survive long enough to change his life?
The Yark is a funny and somewhat dark tale with a depth that might be missed on a first read. French author and scriptwriter Bertrand Santini successfully conveys, through the narrator, the monster’s inner turmoil as he battles between his conscience and the need for food. With an excellent translation by Antony Shugaar of the clever prose and array of language, every nuance in the story is brought to life.
Santini turns on its head the traditional monster stories exploring the moral dilemma of the Yark and readers will no doubt find themselves having some sympathy for this rather melancholy beast. French graphic designer Laurent Gapaillard’s black and white Victorian Gothic style illustrations perfectly compliment this suspenseful and darkly humorous story.