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Beastly Rhymes to Read After Dark    by Judy Sierra & Brian Biggs order for
Beastly Rhymes to Read After Dark
by Judy Sierra
Order:  USA  Can
Knopf, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The innerside of the front cover admonishes, 'Danger! / Warning! / Kids beware! / Rhyming beasts / are everywhere. / Turn the pages ... / if you dare.' That and the spotted furry green cover make Judy Sierra's Beastly Rhymes to Read After Dark irresistible to kids of all ages.

From The Lavatory Crocodile to Who is Haunting the Zoo? and Monster Reservoir, Sierra gives readers witty rhymes with a delightful touch of horror and insightful lessons, such as (in the case if Lonely Giant Squid) 'I'll tell you why that squid's so blue: / You can't have friends and eat them too' or (in Parasite Lost) 'Many lovely lives are ended / By consequences unintended.'

These engagingly horrific verses (whose frightful elements are emphasized by Brian Biggs' amusing illustrations) reminded me somewhat of Dennis Lee's Alligator Pie and similar poems. Judy Sierra ends by reminding her readers of all the monsters 'Clamoring for your attention, / For beastly rhymes of your invention.' So read her Beastly Rhymes first and then let loose all the scary monsters from your own imagination!

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