As much coffee-table conversation piece as a collection for children, this oversize volume allocates each of 40 spreads to a different animal, portrayed in tepid verse by Forbes and in first-rate cartoons by Searle. Forbes, the president of ForbesLifemagazine, leans on puns "and then the hippo potty must!"), interest in appearance ("An uptown leopard named Lottie / All the guys consider a hottie") and grisly demises ("A naughty lad, he took no care, and in the end did feed the bear- / an accident"). Most of the animals are adults, their concerns those of middle age: weight gain, stale marriages, professional advancement. The verse can scan poorly or seem tired ("Her neck is very, very tall / So tall she towers o'er us all" says Forbes of-what else?-a giraffe). Satirical cartoonist Searle (Searle's Cats) redeems the wacky menagerie. Punctuating pale watercolor wash with inky black lines and splotches, he draws Forbes's hippopotamus hurrying goggle-eyed and cross-legged with urgency to the nearest bathroom, and Lottie the leopard strutting like Cyd Charisse down a red carpet. The aforesaid "naughty lad," pale and pimply, stands before the bear cage, incapable of interpreting the bear's menacing grin while a tiny, anxious mouse in the corner waves its paws in alarm. (In a child-friendly touch, the mouse lurks in each picture.) For die-hard Searle fans. Ages 6-up. (Sept.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Beastly Feasts: A Mischievous Menagerie in Rhymeby Bob Forbes, Ronald Searle
If you haven�t heard, the whole animal kingdom is roaring its approval for Beastly Feasts!, this collection of delectable rhymes about animals naughty and nice. With over forty delicious poems by Robert Forbes and zany illustrations of each featured creature (and a secret critter peeping out from each page) from master cartoonist Robert Searle, these wildly playful rhymes and charmingly intricate illustrations will keep readers seven to seventy coming back to the table again and again.
The Gnus are out! So are the dachshunds, squirrels, and giraffes! Open up Beastly Feasts! for a menagerie of poems that are as good for a scare as they are for a laugh!
"He spends a lot of time looking out the window," read one of Robert Forbes�s seventh grade report cards. Even so, he managed to graduate from school and university, and joined the family business in 1975 where he now serves a Vice President as well as president of the lifestyle magazine ForbesLife. After twenty-five years in New York City and six in London, he and his wife currently reside in Florida. He enjoys his work, winemaking with his wife on their property in southern France, and writing poetry, and he still cherishes time spent looking out windows.
Gr 3-6 The 40 poems here are about all sorts of beasts, from "The Boar at My Door" to "Colonel Fleming" (a lemming), who was trained to lead his soldiers off a cliff. Many of the "feasts" are fairly ferocious, at times involving animals eating terrified children, in the kind of black humor perfected by Roald Dahl and Hilaire Belloc. Some of the writing is rhythmic and clever (the giraffe named Dizzy Lizzie is "...so tall it makes her proud/For only she can eat a cloud"), but some of the poems suffer from wordiness and dated allusions. For instance, how many children, or even their parents, will get "better dead than Red" in "The Conservative Lobster"? And how many years has it been since any mall sold real alligator handbags? The full-page, superb drawing facing each selection adds a great deal of humor and atmosphere. Searle's animals, many painted with comically exaggerated goggle eyes, are wonderfully expressive and dynamic. Overall, those with tight budgets may want to stick with the many classic collections of animal poems available, like The Beauty of the Beast , selected by Jack Prelutsky (Knopf, 1997). Fans of the prolific and talented Searle may want to consider this title.-Lauralyn Persson, Wilmette Public Library, IL
- The Overlook Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.80(w) x 11.30(h) x 0.60(d)
- Age Range:
- 9 - 18 Years
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