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Beast Feast

Beast Feast

Emma Yarlett
Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781406386639

Laugh-out-loud funny, fantastically illustrated and an absolute must in an Early Years classroom. One of my favourite picture books of this year, this book was a delight to share with my young children and also with their class mates in Reception and Year 1.

Beast Feast tells the story of a bright pink monster (Beast) who, 'one very hungry day', goes out to catch his dinner. The Beast catches a small child and declares, 'You are Dinner!'. Dinner looks worried as the Beast begins writing letters to all his Beast friends, inviting them over for a dinner party to share Dinner. As the letters come back to the Beast, Beast decides to fatten up Dinner with lots of gruesome concoctions. But Dinner has other ideas and begins to teach Beast about other things like food he has never tried before - chocolate cake - and days out together - swimming in the sea - and other adventures together.

As the reply letters continue, Beast is 'beginning to wish he didn't have to EAT Dinner.' Beast no longer looks like a Beast to Dinner, and Dinner no longer looks like Dinner to the Beast as the two become friends.

Not only does this story have an important message throughout of friendship and how your first impression of a person can change, but it also incorporates letters on every page, perfect for an Early Years environment. My children (4 and 6) were delighted with this story as we turned each page to read the letters and were rolling on the floor laughing with the silly language of the monsters. Charlie (age 6) said: 'I liked it a lot, my favourite bit was the chocolate cake, where all the monsters stuff their faces with cake'. My copy was used by a Year 1 teacher whose children were learning how to structure a letter and this book fit in perfectly with this module; this book is perfect for teaching those skills but with the humour of 5/6 year olds. The children wanted to keep it, the teachers wanted to keep it.

The illustrations are wonderfully colourful and funny; Beastly but not scary. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this story with my children and it has already become a firm favourite at any time of the day. Well done Emma Yarlett for creating a story with so many exciting features but with an important message embroiled into the story.

Beast Feast can also be used alongside The Day the Crayons Quit by Oliver Jeffers and The Troll and the Oliver by Adam Stower.

Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Joanna Hewish, teacher


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