beast feast by Douglas Florian



Beast Feast Beast FeastDouglas Florian; Voyager Books 1998WorldCat

Review is by Molly

Douglas Florian’s beast feast, poems and paintings is a child pleasing compilation of 21 rhymes, odes and poetry spanning a wide gamut from “The Caterpillar” to “The Kiwi” and  “The Walrus” to “The Boa”.

Odes drawing attention to Birds include “The Pigeon”, “The Kiwi” and “The Rhea”, while insects feature “The Firefly”, “The Grasshopper” and “The Caterpillar”.  Eight stanzas featuring mammals are offered along with three about sea life.

Each two page spread comprises verse on one leaf with a unique full page interpretation of the named critter.

Florian’s brilliant imaginative notions set down in individual rhymes coupled with an dependable flair for alliteration is highly engaging. Osage County First Grade sit captivated, enjoying the flow of words and accompanying quirky graphics as we turn page to page to meet each new beast.

Artistic verse bring enthralled children to chuckles as they listen and view unanticipated enchanting images including energetic, multicolored and completely entertaining representations.

“The Walrus” illustrated by a rust toned, long tusked fellow sitting, staring with unblinking eyes is a perfect foil to the four line ode:

The pounding spatter
Of salty sea
Makes the walrus

The table of contents catalogs a dandy feast of wondrous individuals from the grand to the diminutive, small as a mole or pigeon and the firefly; all receive attention.  Short to tall, familiar to utterly odd; walrus and toad, bat and armadillo; they all can be found.

Oddities of nature fascinate, unite and dare children to learn more about the vast multiplicity found on our earth.

“The Boa”:

Just when you think you know the boa,
There’s moa and moa, and moa and moa.

Is met with wide eyes and some trepidation, while

“The Armadillo”:

The armadillo
As a pillow
Would really be swell
For the fact
That it comes in a shell

Brings forth giggles and conversation about the small, nocturnal animal we see often in our area.

Writer, illustrator Florian’s idiosyncratic, full page watercolors are as mischievous as his poetry. Florian’s beast feast is an all around pleasing read.

Happy to recommend Douglas’ Florian’s beast feast.

Link to Books

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