The Yark
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The Yark

Bertrand Santini, Laurent Gapaillard

The Yark loves children…with the love of a gourmand! This hairy monster dreams of child buffetsham of boy, orphan gratin, schoolchild puree, breaded babies, girl rillettes. But he has a problem: his delicate stomach can only tolerate the flesh of nice children; liars give him heartburn, savages spoil his teeth.

There are not nearly enough good, edible children around to keep him from starvation. Then the Yark does find delicious, sweet Madeleine. Will he gobble her up? Or will she survive long enough to change his life?

Review

With his coiled fangs and matted, dripping coat he trundles into children’s bedrooms whilst they are quietly sleeping and gobbles them, raw! But watch out, for the Yark cannot eat naughty children (they make him sick); instead, he feasts on sweet, tender youngsters – ‘He loves the crackle of their little bones between his teeth, and to suck on their soft eyes, which melt like chocolate truffles.’ This book is not for the faint-hearted child!

Written with dark, dry humour reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s finest work, The Yark is a timeless tale about the power of love to change our perspective.

After a few thwarted attempts at finding a meal, the cold and starving Yark stumbles through the window of an abandoned lighthouse and into the bedroom of Madeleine, our sweet, tender heroine. Madeleine and the Yark form an instant bond, but will it be enough to quell the ferocious appetite of the child-eating monster?

The Yark is a wonderfully imaginative story, enriched by Laurent Gapaillard’s beautiful, detailed black-ink illustrations. I would thoroughly recommend it as a readaloud for children 6 and up, provided they are not prone to nightmares!


Britt Munro works as a bookseller at Readings Carlton.

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