The filth licker by Cristy Burne
Ill. by Siku. Frances Lincoln Children's Books, 2011. ISBN
(Ages 8-12) Recommended. This is the second title in the Takeshita Demons series featuring Miku Takeshita, a young Japanese girl now living in London. It is the night before school camp, and Miku has a bad feeling. Her best friend Cait is acting strangely, and there's been a nasty smell around which seems to be getting stronger each day. So on the way to camp, when a boy from her class suddenly breaks out in a stinking rash which seems to be causing his skin to rot, Miku knows there are Japanese demons at work. Her fears prove true when a strange wind blows out their bonfire, and Miku knows they have awakened a new evil. Now Miku must decide whether to trust the advice of the Filth Licker who lives in the boys' toilets, and trek through the dark forest in the middle of the night to confront the demon before it reaches the camp. But which of her friends can she trust when there is a shape-shifter at work? And what form will the evil take on? And why is the food at camp so disgusting?
A range of wonderful demons and monsters from Japanese mythology are introduced to the reader in a humorous and sometimes slightly repulsive story which has enough suspense to keep you turning the pages. Not too frightening for young readers, filled with likeable characters and great Manga style illustrations.