SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE BEASTRO

Jane Breskin Zalben, Author, Steven Zalben, Author, Steven Zalben, Illustrator . HarperCollins $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-029227-0

Monsters fuzzy, scaly and tentacled arrive at this beastly soirée as an insect announces, "Hello, my name is Parasite./ I'll be your waiter for tonight." They dine on "Roach flambé, termite croquettes,/ Special tonight: pest-o-baguettes," and the maître d' breaks up a food fight where one can't tell customers from main courses. Jane Zalben (Beni's Family Cookbook ) and her husband, making his debut, superimpose images of the slimy clientele on duotone photos of a classy dining room. But the digitally colored drawings, feathers, sequins and handmade paper collages make a muddled bouillabaisse against the faded backdrops, and the plot is, unfortunately, as flimsy as a mosquito soufflé. Ages 5-9. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 08/09/2004
Release date: 08/01/2004
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