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A Beasty Story Paperback – September 1, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"In a dark, dark wood there is a dark, dark house..." So begins this tongue-in-cheek rodent tale of intrigue. Four brave and curious mice follow the trail of a big, scary beast, down the dark red stair, into the dark blue cellar, inside the dark green bottle in the dark purple cupboard. Young readers will squeal in delighted fright when the yellow-eyed monster ("A BEAST!") flies out and across the cellar, up the stairs, out of the house, and into the night. The perpetually rhyming, color-obsessed mice follow in hot pursuit. But is the beast really as horrible as it seems?

Two of the best-loved creators of children's books have collaborated on this utterly charming picture book. Using repetition, color progression, and rhymes, Bill Martin, Jr. (Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?) and Steven Kellogg (A-Hunting We Will Go!) conjure up a story that will beguile any small reader in search of a thrill. Comical, cartoonish illustrations depict shadowy figures and deep, rich colors, leading up to the spooky surprise ending. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Four wide-eyed mice enter a dark, dark house in a dark, dark wood, in this not-so-scary tale that also teaches colors. "A high-spirited balance of concept book and adventure tale," noted PW. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152165606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152165604
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.2 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #969,587 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bill Martin Jr, an elementary-school principal, teacher, writer, and poet, held a doctoral degree in early childhood education. His many books, among them the bestselling classics Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?; Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?; Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?; and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, are a testament to his ability to speak directly to children.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Preschoolers will love to explore the "dark, dark house" with the four brave mice. They'll also love the rhyme and references to colors. The text is brief to match the attention span of young children. The opening illustrations foreshadow the ending; preschoolers might not notice the first time through, but when they do notice, they'll be delighted. Best of all, the beast is scary, but not TOO scary.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My daughter (3 1/2) and son (20 months) both loved this book when we borrowed it from the library. It is full of suspense yet not scary. The rhymes are wonderful! It teaches colors as well. My daughter loved repeating the sentences.
A cute and educational book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Melissa Montambo on March 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Bill Martin Jr.'s knack for rhyme and rhythm are the base for this exciting tale. Steven Kellogg illustrates the 'dark, dark woods' and the charming mice whose adventure we are sharing. This book is perfect for beginning readers and adults to share the reading. Children can easily memorize and 'read' the subtly changing text. Adults can chime in as the mice. I love to watch my Kindergartener's read this book 'outloud to themselves'. They cannot help but add dramatic touches to the reading. A new classic from these two great contributors to children's literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Mazza HALL OF FAME on March 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"A Beasty Story," by Bill Martin Jr. and Steven Kellogg, is a picture story about four hamsters: Nilly, Willy, Lily, and Silly. They come across a spooky Victorian-style house in a dark wood, and ultimately discover something scary inside.
The authors help children to learn colors as they tell the story; this is well-integrated into the book. "Beasty" is an effective mix of suspense and humor, although the surprise ending doesn't quite work; some readers might notice that the authors seem to violate the laws of science to achieve the surprise! Still, a fun book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer on May 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Our son, 3 1/2, LOVES this book. He is into anything that is scary...but doesn't want to be scared (if that makes sense). Like Scooby Doo...starts off scary, but there is always a reason, nothing supernatural! Terrific illustrations, educational and surprising! Fun book to read for the adults too. The type of book that you notice something new each time you read! Adorable!
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Format: Hardcover
I am at Amazon to buy this book as we have run into our renewal limit at the Library. The rhyming cadence of this story is reminiscent of other Martin titles, and it makes the reading enjoyable for us as parents as well!

This has become a favorite, and the build up to the "And Grabs Him!" page is a nightly family ritual filled with giggles from Mom, Dad AND our daughter! Love it! We will be in our twilight years looking back fondly at this book!
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By Mom in VA on August 13, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is such a fun book to read to a young child. My four year old daughter loved the pace of the book, and couldn't wait to see how it all ends. She absolutely loved the characters and the cute little drawings of them. When we finished the book, she wanted to read it again right away. And again, and again and again. That's the true test of a childrens' book!
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Format: Paperback
We purchased the Beasty Story before we had children. Now that we have children we love it even more! I love the flow of the story and the illustrations as well. My 2.5 year old understands the surprise humor and laughs hardy each time we read this book. It's different than some of Bill Martin, Jr's other work, but is wonderful. Don't miss this!
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