The Beastie Book reviewed on Macaroni Kids

I’m happy to announce that The Beastie Book, has just been reviewed on Hillsborough/Branchburg/Somerville: Macaroni Kid website:

It was posted there last Saturday and will be up throughout the week, during which time it will also be posted nationally on a number of other Macaroni Mom’s websites.

Update, July 12th, 2010: If you click on the site above, you’ll get the current page. Use the “Search” box to put in The Beastie Book, and it will take you right to the review. Thanks!

Here’s the review:


The Beastie Book – An Alphabestiary. A Visually Captivating Dream Through The Alphabet


The Oopsy ties her shoes wrong

And never combs her hair.

Sometimes she doesn’t brush her teeth

Or clean her messy hair.

Her shirts are buttoned crooked,

Her socks don’t match at all,

And if you try to help her out

She’ll only start to bawl.

The Beastie Book: An Alphabestiary was written by New Jersey author, Penny Harter and illustrated by New Jersey resident Alexandra Miller.

The Beastie Book is a unique and dreamlike imaginary voyage through the alphabet.  Each letter is expressed in a poem about a mythical beastie creature.  Each poem is accompanied by a visually lush illustration.  A little added surprise—each letter is hidden in the poem’s illustration.   When I received the book, I showed my 6 year old daughter.  She immediately was drawn to the art work.  We sat down and read the poems A through Z.  She adored the silly beastie poems and enjoyed searching for the hidden letter.  After we read the book, she scurried away and put in her room where her favorite books go (the place where she hides thing from her younger sister).  At bedtime, we read the book again.  The following day, she was teaching her class of dolls and animals about the alphabet using the book.

My daughter’s reaction to the book speaks volumes—pun intended.  I think the uniqueness of its poems and illustrations captivate the young imagination — and the older one.   My Macaronies gave it their seal of approval and so did this Macaroni Mom.


I’m so happy with this review by Allison Rebenack, and hope it inspires its readers to check out the book. If you’re interested, perhaps you can even ask your library to order a copy.

About penhart

I am a poet and writer, published widely in journals and anthologies, and my literary autobiography appears as an extended essay in "Contemporary Authors." My poems have recently appeared in "Rattle" ,"Tiferet," and "U.S. 1 Worksheets". Work has also appeared in "The Valparaiso Poetry Review," and "Umbrella." Recent books include 'One Bowl" (2012); "Recycling Starlight" (2010); and "The Night Marsh" (2008).. Earlier collections include "Along River Road"; "Lizard Light: Poems From the Earth"; and "Buried in the Sky." My illustrated alphabestiary for children, "The Beastie Book," was published in the December, 2009, by Shenanigan Books. I have won three poetry fellowships from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, as well as awards from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Mary Carolyn Davies Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the first William O. Douglas Nature Writing Award for my work in the anthology "American Nature Writing 2002." I was invited to be a "featured poet" and read at the 2010 Dodge Poetry Festival, and was awarded a residency / fellowship for January, 2011, at VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts." I live in the South Jersey shore area, and work as a visiting poet in the schools through programs sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and various other agencies. I'm still fairly new at blogging and hope to add more graphics, etc., as I learn more.
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2 Responses to The Beastie Book reviewed on Macaroni Kids

  1. That’s a lovely review, Penny. Congratulations on writing a book that inspired one six-year-old and her mom–and will hopefully reach many more!

  2. Penny Harter says:

    Thank you so much, Susan. I,too, love the detail about her six-year-old that the reviewer, Allison Rebenack, included. I’m thrilled that the book is doing so well, since, to my knowledge, it hasn’t gotten a review in the usual book review media yet. Hopefully, it will be further reviewed soon.

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