LET’S HAVE A BITE!: A Banquet of Beastly Rhymes

Kirkus Review
A Banquet of Beastly Rhymes
Author: Forbes, Robert L.
Illustrator: Searle, Ronald

Review Date: September 15, 2010
Publisher: Duckworth/Overlook
Pages: 78
Price ( Hardback ): $19.95
Publication Date: October 1, 2010
ISBN ( Hardback ): 978-1-59020-409-2
Category: Poetry

Thirty-three poems about antic animals, matched with equally madcap illustrations. “The Zoo VIP (Very Idle Panda)” describes how “The giant panda at the zoo / Just sits and chomps / On fresh bamboo.” “A Busy Day for Goslings” follows a mother goose’s outing with her brood Pip, Pop, Peep and Squeak. Other highlights include “Natty Nat” (an impeccably dressed narwhal), “Mean Cuisine” (a goat chef who cooks up crazy concoctions from foraged items), “Theodore’s Great Pitch” (a lemur door-to-door salesman) and, with a nod to Ogden Nash, “The Rhino’s Wine” (a grape-harvesting family led by Amos the rhinoceros): “The wine of Amos is the last word: / Maqnifique in its ferocity: / The essence of rhinocerocity.” Bunny, emu, seal, crocodile, dingo, octopus and vole are among the other subjects. Searle’s accompanying pictures show most of the animals in action; impish details and busy backgrounds suggest Gahan Wilson or Quentin Blake.
(Picture book. 4-8)

From asthepageturns-page.blogspot.com
This book was a lot of fun to read and would be a great book for families to read together. The poems are funny and the illustrations are great.

This is geared to kids 9-12, but I think all ages would love it.

August 9, 2010
Let’s Have a Bite! A Banquet of Beastly Rhymes

Robert L. Forbes, illus. by Ronald Searle, Overlook/Duckworth, $19.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-59020-409-2
Chocolate bunnies, crying crocodiles, and fortune-telling seals star in Forbes and Searle’s companion to 2007’s Beastly Feasts! 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 (“In the summer he needs no topper–/ His groovy shades are a real show-stopper”), and a photogenic buffalo.

Let’s Have a Bite!
Written on September 21, 2010 by Jennifer (5 Minutes for Books)

Don’t freak out! We haven’t turned into a children’s picture book blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). At 5 Minutes for Books, we are still proud to feature books across many genres for children and adults. This week is all about highlighting children’s books, and we are also posting more frequently than you may be used to, for this week only.
Let’s Have a Bite!: A Banquet of Beastly Rhymes by Robert Forbes is a wonderful whimsical book of poetry sure to appeal to kids.

The illustrations by Ronald Searle have that sort of odd creepy feel, which perfectly complements the subject matter.
These poems all feature animals: “Baker Betty” (who happens to be a baboon), “The Turtle Dash,” “Ooh,Lala” (about a nasty-tempered koala named Lala), “The Story of Rory” (the rattler).

It’s a rather long collection, featuring 33 poems which each have a full two-page spread. My six-year-old son and I read a poem or two or three before bed each night. I absolutely love having a book of poems around for that purpose – a quick add-on to a picture book reading or simply a quick goodnight read of a poem or two to stand alone.

One thing that I really like about this collection is its diversity. All the poems are about animals, but they are all different. Most are silly, but they all have a different tone, and even better – a different form. Some collections offer poems that have the same ABBA or ABABAB rhyming scheme, or are all 14 lines long or whatever. Some of Forbes’ poems are 1 stanza of 5 lines, others are longer more free-formed poems, some have two stanzas, other have five. The variety keeps the collection from being too predictable, and also serves to teach children about the different forms a poem can take.