cover image Beast Feast

Beast Feast

Douglas Florian. Harcourt Children's Books, $16 (48pp) ISBN 978-0-15-295178-8

Florian ( Monster Motel ; Vegetable Garden ) indeed presents a feast--for the eyes and the ears--in this cheerful collection of brief, bouncy poems describing an eclectic roundup of animals. Each focusing on a single ``beast,'' the entries range from snappy two-liners (``The rhea rheally isn't strange-- / It's just an ostrich, rhearranged'') to relatively longer poems of cleverly rhymed couplets. Florian's distinctive, full-page watercolors are as playful as his verse: a chameleon (whose hue changes ``from mousy browns to leafy greens / And several colors in between'') holds an artist's palette and paintbrush; and the ``tubby toad'' (who is ``so squat and plump / That rarely does it even jump'') weighs in on a bathroom scale. An ideal read-aloud, this volume will leave young listeners as lighthearted as its own contents. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)