Reader Reviewed The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing by Barry Hutchison
  

The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing

Written by Barry Hutchison
Illustrated by Chris Mould
Part of the Benjamin Blank Series Series

7+ readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Hideous monsters, an ill-assorted band of comrades, life-or-death situations, and the odd magic item – who doesn’t love a quest story? Benjamin Blank and his friends Paradise Little and Wesley Chant are off to battle the Shark-Headed Bear-Thing terrorising their area – some of them with more enthusiasm than others. Can they defeat the monster? Will they discover unexpected reserves of strength and heroism? Will a portal into another world open and send a boiled egg travelling fast enough to break the sound barrier? You betcha! Barry Hutchinson packs a satisfying story, and some very funny situation comedy, into just 224 pages, amply illustrated with Chris Mould’s appealing and expressive illustrations. An absurdist adventure that will be gobbled up by kids! ~ Andrea Reece

Kirsty from Nosy Crow says: "One minute you're laughing, the next your hair's standing on end. A brilliant mixture of the comic and the completely terrifying – something for everyone, in fact!"

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Emily Lonsdale, age 9 - 'Love, Love, Love this book, so different and I can’t wait for more like it.'
  • Brodie Greenslade, age 9 - 'The Shark-Headed-Bear-Thing is the hilarious tale of useless wizards, unlikely heroes and some very unusual monsters.'
  • Caitlin Hill, age 7 - 'An exciting and funny book about a monster fighter who has never fought a monster, a wizard who was kicked out of wizard school and a girl that gets to places taking the long way round!'
  • James Wood, age 7 - 'This is one of the best books I've ever read. It's really funny and there aren't any boring bits. I think other children my age would love to read it.'
  • Harry Gray, age 7 - 'Great illustrations. A good adventure.  We loved Tavish and wished the story had more of his contraptions.'
  • Toby Pickering, age 8 - 'An entertaining tale of a young boy’s adventure to save the Mayor from The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing!'
  • Matthew Wilson, age 7 - 'Funny and Awesome.'

Synopsis

The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing by Barry Hutchison

In an alternate 15th century, where dragons roam, sailing ships transform into submarines, and blacksmiths build steampunk robots, ten-year-old orphan Benjamin Blank battles monsters, rescues maidens and discovers fantastic new lands, but never quite manages to get his homework handed in on time. Each adventure sees Ben and his friends, Paradise Little and Wesley Chant, face a new monstrous menace.

About the Author

Barry Hutchison

Barry Hutchison was born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland. Despite this, he has never once tossed a caber, wrestled a haggis, or gone a-roamin’ in the gloamin’. He’s not even entirely sure what a gloamin’ is. An avid reader from a very early age, Barry spent most of his childhood with his nose buried in some book or another, and began writing his own novels when he was 10. Barry was 17 that he sold his first piece of written work, the comedy horror screenplay, Curse of the Bog Women.

Barry lives in Fort William in the Highlands with his partner, Fiona, and their two children, Kyle and Mia.

A Q&A with Barry

How did you go about making the characters in Beaky Malone come to life? When I was Beaky's age I had A) an overactive imagination and B) a big sister who I argued with constantly, so it wasn't all that difficult to put myself into Beaky's shoes. As a writer, I basically tell lies for a living, so that helped, too. Sometimes, though, characters just come to life without you having to do very much, and that's pretty much what happened when I was writing this book. I could pretend that I'd carefully figured out every character's mannerisms, motivations and all the rest of it, so that you'd think I was dead clever, but if you forced me into a Truth-Telling Machine I'd have to admit that it just sort of happened by itself. Beaky and the rest of the cast just did their own thing, really, and I followed along for the ride.Unless anyone from the publisher is reading this, in which case I worked really hard. Honest!

Are any of the tricky situations that Beaky finds himself in based on real life events? A. I don't think any of them are based on specific events, but a lot of it is based loosely on my own life. I think readers will see a lot of their own lives in there, too, though. Lots of us have annoying brothers or sisters, we all get a bit embarrassed by our parents sometimes, or are made to spend time with relatives we don't like. Beaky lies for all kinds of reasons, but (putting on my psychologist hat) I think one of those is because he's sometimes scared of being overlooked. By lying he can make himself seem just a bit smarter, or braver, or just better, and I think we've all had that feeling of wanting to fit in, but also to be noticed.That said, I did once wet myself in a shop, so that part of the story actually happened, I suppose...

Without getting yourself into too much trouble, what’s the last porky you told? How dare you? I never lie! OK, that's not true. Technically, I suppose that was the last porky I told. Don't tell my wife this, but I quite often tell her I've got an urgent deadline and that I can't be disturbed for the rest of the day, then I shut myself in my office and play the Xbox for hours. Seriously, though, don't tell her or she'll hide all my games.

Are there any more adventures planned for Beaky Malone in the future? Yes! At the end of the first book there are some hints about the other situations Beaky is going to find himself in. Now that he can't lie, life has suddenly become more difficult and dangerous. In the next book, Beaky is partnered up with the school bully on a class day out, and has no choice but to be brutally honest with him about his anger issues and shocking body odour, before loudly announcing which girls he fancies. As you can probably imagine, it does not end well...

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Paperback
224 pages
Interest Age: From 7

Author

Barry Hutchison
More books by Barry Hutchison

Author's Website

www.barryhutchison.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

Nosy Crow Ltd

Publication date

5th February 2015

ISBN

9780857632692

Categories


It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

I love Lovereading because I often never know what to read and this helps you find a good book. I have recommended this to many people.

Shannon-Louise Masters – age 15

I love lovereading4kids because I’ve read amazing books I would never have picked up, and its opened doors to new genre’s I now love.

Harriet Cunningham

At @HHSHaringey we love @lovereading4kids because our pupils can practice reviewing & get free upcoming books before anyone else!

Helen Swinyard – Heartlands High

I have told all my friends, family & teachers to see for themselves just how great the site is. Without fail, they are hugely impressed.

Alexander Boxall – age 11

I love all the books they recommend & put up for me to review. I also love the fact that they give new authors the chance to share their boo

Daisy Pennock – age 15

We love Lovereading4kids because it promotes reading choices, new authors and a sense of community for children of all ages!

Rachel Bridgeman
Lovereading

Lovereading 4 schools