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Beast Feast

Beast Feast

Emma Yarlett
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406386639

What a feast of a delight this book is! Gorgeous, funny and just enough scary for 5-8 year olds. It is also packed with letters so a great way to introduce letter-writing in class. Meet Beast, a bright pink, sharp-toothed hairy monster who is dangling a small boy by the foot. "You are DINNER", said Beast. "No I'm not", said Dinner.

Beast decides to set about fattening up Dinner and invites his other monster friends to join him. Each of the monsters replies in a folder letter on the page, with their own suggestions for making Dinner fatter and more juicy, salty and muddy. However, Beast and Dinner end up having a lot of fun in the process of making him fatter / more salty / more muddy, and they become quite fond of each other - until Dinner doesn't look like dinner any more...but Beast's guests are on their way. Can they come up with a solution? The tension mounts until we turn the final page, which is where the other monsters' suggestions for a great dinner come in.

This is a fabulous book to read aloud because of the tension in each page-turn, as well as Emma Yarlett's fabulous illustrations. Beast Feast would, as I've said, also make a great (and funny) introduction to letter-writing using the reply letters each monster pens. This can be followed up with children making up their own monsters and a letter about its dietary requirements!

You could also use Beast Feast to explore recipes and why we eat what we eat to stay healthy (the monsters' diets being less than healthy), as well as talking about Halloween and what makes us scared, and how to be brave - Dinner, the little boy at the heart of this story, somehow manages to turn every scary moment into something fun and affectionate.

I adore Emma Yarlett's books (she also created Nibbles the book-eating monster), and if you enjoy Beast Feast, seek out her earlier book Dragon Post - another letter-writing treat!

Picture book / Ages 5-8 years / Reviewed by Ellen Green


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