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Beast Friends Forever
     

Beast Friends Forever

by Robert Forbes, Ronald Searle (Illustrator)
 

The beasts are back! If you haven't heard, the whole animal kingdom is roaring its approval for Beast Friends Forever, this collection of delectable verses about animals both rascally and sweet.
With delicious poems by Robert Forbes and zany illustrations of each poem by master artist Ronald Searle, these wildly playful rhymes and charmingly intricate

Overview

The beasts are back! If you haven't heard, the whole animal kingdom is roaring its approval for Beast Friends Forever, this collection of delectable verses about animals both rascally and sweet.
With delicious poems by Robert Forbes and zany illustrations of each poem by master artist Ronald Searle, these wildly playful rhymes and charmingly intricate illustrations will keep readers seven to seventy coming back again and again. The anteater (who is not a cheater), a brave meerkat named Lee, Bugsie Seagull, and Dapper Don the fox feature along with many others in this timeless collection.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this companion to Beastly Feasts! and Let’s Have a Bite! Forbes composes odes to unlikely lovestruck animals. A seagull finds love inland (“Now they’re raising a brood in the pines—/ Not one of Mother Nature’s predictable designs:/ A seagull in the forest with a morning dove./ But it pays to take a chance on love”), while Monty “is a naughty python/ Who met his wife in a python pile-on.” The loquacious verse sometimes falters (“The first time I met Lena/ She was an average girl hyena/ Who could laugh right on cue/ Because that’s what hyenas do./ The Animal Cliché League is pretty strict:/ Hyenas must laugh, so goes the edict”), but, by and large, the gently mischievous poems should please those who love wordplay, the animal kingdom, and improbable romances. All ages. (Jan.)
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Praise for Let's Have a Bite!:

"People often take a stab at children's books after reading Goodnight Moon to their own kids . . . It seems Mr. Forbes simply has crazy rhymes going through his head." --Wall Street Journal

"Playful rhymes and charmingly intricate illustrations." --Miami Herald

"There's no shortage of offbeat characters (who become even more so in Searle's kinetic cartoons), including a color-changing emu, a well-dressed narwhal, and a photogenic buffalo." --Publishers Weekly

School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Children familiar with Beastly Feasts! (2007) and Let's Have a Bite! (2010, both Overlook Duckworth) will cheer for this third collaboration. Animal courtship is infused with quirky human characteristics and some sneaky social commentary. Readers meet Lancelot the Ocelot, doing time for "his romance turned to tragedy, ending in a crime." And Babette the Skunk, having studied with "Parisian perfumers," has fashioned a new scent, "packaged in black and called 'In-d-scent,'/It's sure to enflame any white-striped gent." Twenty-seven poems, some of them several stanzas in length, make up the collection with characters such as a pig named Squig, a valiant meerkat, and a Blue-footed Booby who has "dyed his feet red to be groovy/And at night plays blues on his toobie." Searle's pen-and-ink drawings embellish the tales of love, and pastel touches reinforce the tone of the poems. The verses and illustrations are on opposing pages with white space that makes their appearance seamless. A small creature follows the action from page to page, and there are 17 punch-out stickers on the endpapers. These poems include a rich vocabulary of words such as "besotted," "beau," and "reminisce." They will be fun to read aloud, multiple times.—Teresa Pfeifer, The Springfield Renaissance School, Springfield, MA
Kirkus Reviews
Forbes tenders a curiously wayward collection of animal love poetry. "For soon they'll grow up and want to go play / With game skunky guys for a sniff and a spray." Sure, if educated fleas do it, then skunks do it: They fall in love. But Cole Porter might have framed it differently, as it seems a little rich for 7-year-olds, the starting audience for which this book is disingenuously pegged in its marketing: 7 to 70. Elsewhere, readers will find "a pig whose name is Squig," a "camel named Kim" and a "doe gazelle named Mellow"—not to forget "[t]wo raccoons, Liz and Rick" (whose name suddenly turns to Dick in the last stanza), none of whom will tickle too many 60-year-olds. And for such a handsome production—the paper is lovely, and the reproductions of Searles' illustrations, with their wonderful spidery, anarchic linework and trails of color that leave afterimages, are terrific—it is jarring to find "unfatihfulness" and "morning dove" (though the last occurs in one of the better poems, about a sea gull leaving home—the beach—because he is tired of the soggy French fries). Of the 27 poems here, Forbes best hits his stride in the longer pieces, especially "Down at the Old Mill Inn," with its cast of unsavories kept in check by the headwaiter. Unfortunately, the extended poems are too few and far between, though Searles' artwork (he died in 2011) saves the book's bacon. (Poetry. 10-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590208083
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
01/10/2013
Pages:
80
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
9 - 18 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for Let's Have a Bite!:

"People often take a stab at children's books after reading Goodnight Moon to their own kids . . . It seems Mr. Forbes simply has crazy rhymes going through his head." —Wall Street Journal

"Playful rhymes and charmingly intricate illustrations." —Miami Herald

"There's no shortage of offbeat characters (who become even more so in Searle's kinetic cartoons), including a color-changing emu, a well-dressed narwhal, and a photogenic buffalo." —Publishers Weekly

"Children familiar with Beastly Feasts! (2007) and Let's Have a Bite! (2010, both Overlook Duckworth) will cheer for this third collaboration…[These poems] will be fun to read aloud, multiple times." —School Library Journal

Meet the Author

Robert Forbes serves as a company Vice President as well as President of the lifestyle magazine ForbesLife. After 25 years in New York City and six in London, he and his wife currently reside in Florida. His other two books of poetry for children, Beastly Feasts! and Let's Have a Bite!, were also illustrated by Ronald Searle.

Ronald Searle delighted millions with his comic creation St. Trinian's, also published by Overlook and adapted into a film starring Rupert Everett, Mischa Barton, and Colin Firth. He was a distinguished contributor to numerous magazines around the world, including The New Yorker.

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