LITTLE DOCTOR AND THE FEARLESS BEAST by Sophie Gilmore

Hello again! I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far. Today I’m looking forward to sharing with you about Little Doctor and the Fearless Beast, by Sophie Gilmore. This book is definitely worthy of the accolades it’s been receiving and I hope you get a chance to read it. I’m realizing there are books that feel timeless, and this is one of those stories for me – and that is my favorite thing I’d like to focus on in particular in this post.

Looking at this cover, if I didn’t already know, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which year it was created. But I could tell you that no matter what year it would be, it would be picked up and read. That title and artwork are excellent. I’m so glad Sophie didn’t name it Little Doctor and the Fearless Crocodile. Fearless Beast just seems so much more fun and allows one’s imagination to hold a little less tight to reality.

“There once lived a child the crocodiles called Little Doctor.” We’re thrust right into it. I’m reminded of “Where the Wild Things Are” with how we’re just suddenly in the middle of it and it’s okay. We don’t need the set up of information. We just get it.

On the second spread, we see what seems to be a normal Dr./patient relationship in the way Little Doctor (a child) takes care of the patients (crocodiles). Reminds me of an occupation a child would actually say they’d like to have. It’s a wonderful setup.

Who could have guessed the crocodiles would have repaid Little Doctor with legendary tales?!!! It’s amazing and brilliant, and yet, doesn’t seem out of place one bit.

Another detail I really appreciated about this book was that Little Doctor seems to be all this child is referred to as – like it’s her name. And of course the fearless beast is Big Mean.

The way Sophie Gilmore has written this with the narrator’s voice also seems to work so well for the “timeless” feel. Nothing is explained as extraordinary (even when it is) or overly and emotionally descriptive (when it clearly could have been). It’s all very well balanced and seems to keep us as the reader in a place that realizes this may not be normal, but this is the way things work.

The entire story is right on point with this detail as well.

Just as the first couple wonderful page turns, this story has a couple more great reveals that I don’t want to spoil – especially the ending.

Kudos to Sophie Gilmore for this one. This feels like a book I read and enjoyed as a child. I can imagine that children will be able to read and relate and enjoy this story as long as it will be available to them – which I hope is a very long time.

As a writer, my takeaway will be the reflection on my own stories I write and whether they would be enjoyable not only in the future, but to past children as well. I know not every story needs to pass that test, and maybe a portion of this book ability to achieve it might be the beautiful watercolor artwork. I think it’s just good to measure these things as we write and I hope you’re able to reflect and allow that to inform your own writing as well.

Special bonus: Did you see the crocodile wearing the cone of shame?! So good.

Until next time!

Mike Boldt

Mike Boldt

Mike Boldt is an author and illustrator from Alberta, Canada. With more than 18 books in the wild, he's authored titles such as A TIGER TAIL and ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT FLUFFY (Simon and Schuster). He's also the illustrator of Dev Petty's I DON'T WANT TO BE A FROG & I DON'T WANT TO BE BIG & THERE'S NOTHING TO DO (Doubleday). You can learn more about Mike at www.mikeboldt.ca

24 Comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this remarkable book. I love the storyline!

  2. Avatar
    Angie Quantrell

    What a fun book! Now I have to read it to find out what happens!

  3. Avatar
    Karen Henry Clark

    I’m all in. Thank you for telling us about it.

  4. I had not heard of this. It looks AMAZING!

  5. Can’t wait to snap up this book – it looks wonderful!

  6. I love what you’ve shared of this book–looking forward to reading the rest!

  7. Mike, this book does feel timeless and draws the reader into the so “effortlessly.” But as writers, we know how much effort that is. Ty for this intro to a book I didn’t know.

  8. What a unique tale. I must find out what happens to Little Doctor and the Beast.

  9. This one I MUST see! Thank you, Mike, for sharing this amazing book. It really does have a timeless feel.

  10. I can’t wait to take a peek at this one. Feels so timeless!

  11. What really impresses me is how this book feels like it could only be created by this particular author/illustrator. Such a distinctive style! I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I love the timeless feel of this book. Now I must know how it ends!! Thank you, Mike, for bringing it to our attention. I noticed the cone of shame, too . . . so funny!

  13. I like unusual stories so I will definitely be checking this one out. Thanks, Mike.

  14. Mike, Thanks for your article on this book! Your observations were right on and I might not have noticed some of them. I loved the author’s use of vivid verbs!

  15. This book looks amazing! The page turns are fantastic. Can’t wait to discover the other reveals

  16. I really like the tone of this. Can’t wait to see how it ends. Thanks!

  17. You hooked me. I want to read the ending. Checking it out now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *