Sunday 22 May 2022

The Beatryce Prophecy, written by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, reviewed by Pippa Goodhart

Demon goat, Answelica, is an unlikely and fun hero in this story. The only human being who Answelica doesn’t repeatedly attack is a mysterious child, Beatryce, who is found by a monk one day, sleeping with the goat. Beatryce can’t remember who she is or where she comes from, but, very strangely for a girl in these quasi-medieval times, Beatryce can read and write. It becomes clear that she is part of an ambiguous prophecy concerning the fate of the king. Shaven-headed now, and dressed as a novice monk, Beatryce and her unlikely set of companions set off to meet her destiny.


As with all Kate DiCamillo stories, this one is utterly original, fresh, exciting, funny, and beautifully written. Beautifully illustrated throughout too, by Sophie Blackall. 


            The first Kate DiCamillo story I read was ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ about the friendship between a girl and an unloved dog. The heart of loving friendship between child and beast returns here between Beatryce and Answelica. It’s a story about stories too, leaving the reader with plenty to ponder.


            For children at the upper end of primary school who are open to quirky new ideas, this is a treat. 


            Newly out in paperback.


Rowena House said...

What a great concept. Such depth in contrast! All your pairs sound wonderful.

Penny Dolan said...

Thanks for this review.

I loved her "Winn-Dixie" book, and writes with that open, welcoming American style that makes her work very enjoyable. l'm looking forward to reading this one too.

Kate DiCamillo is such an admirable, original author but I am never sure whether her books are as well known and read in schools as they could be, despite the screen adaptations. Hope I'm wrong!