Cover image for The ravenous beast
The ravenous beast
Sharkey, Niamh.
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Various creatures from a mouse to a whale describe all the things they can eat, but the Ravenous Beast proves to be the hungriest of all.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.1 0.5 75639.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Ravenous little readers will eat up this deliciously illustrated read-aloud and be hungry, hungry, hungry for more!

The Ravenous Beast is hungry, hungry, hungry! He's so hungry he could eat a whole house. Gobble it up! Swallow it down! But all the other animals are claiming that they're the hungriest of all. What can the Ravenous Beast do to prove them wrong? Niamh Sharkey's droll, strikingly stylized illustrations lend a fanciful flair to this comical tale of beastly competition - and insatiable appetite.

Author Notes

Niamh Sharkey is the illustrator of many award-winning children's books. When looking for inspiration for a new picture book, she turned to her old notebooks and sketches. "I came across a 1994 painting, RAVENOUS MONSTERS, featuring hungry, hungry animals. After much playing around with the idea, THE RAVENOUS BEAST was born." Niamh Sharkey lives in Dublin, Ireland.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Fans of silly wordplay will gobble up this tale of a Ravenous Beast who announces he's the "hungriest animal of all." To prove it, he takes a chomp out of a house. "Nonsense! Smonsense!" cries a "little white mouse," one of a merry menagerie that try to out-eat the Beast and each other by nibbling everything in sight (" `Hokum! Pokum!' said the marmalade cat. `I'm as hungry as can be. I'm so hungry I could eat a bucket, a spade, and some pink lemonade' "). The animals' goofy retorts ("Moo! Moo! Malarkey!"; "Flip! Flap-doodle!") add a fun touch, plus kids will giggle over the ever-more-random, bite mark-bedecked objects that the animals "woof down" (a polka-dot sock, a trombone with a dent, a treasure map). Sharkey (The Gigantic Turnip) floods the story with whimsical compositions that echo the work of Joan Mir? in their delicate detailing. The color-saturated pictures in swirling brushstrokes play off simple shapes, complemented by well-designed typography. Sharkey builds adroitly to the subversive climax, when the Ravenous Beast decides to eat his rivals for supper, growling, "Gobble you up! Swallow you down!" From start to finish, a feast for young readers. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-The Ravenous Beast, an orange-and-blue creature resembling a dinosaur, claims to be "the hungriest animal of all." Seven others, ranging in size from a tiny white mouse to a huge whale, challenge the statement by demonstrating their eating prowess. They consume many items, including a boat, a trampoline, and a bus. As each animal finishes its unlikely meal, the Beast eyes the competitors, then settles the question by eating them all. Versions of "The Fat Cat" by Jack Kent (Parent's Magazine, 1971; o.p.) and Margaret Read MacDonald (August House, 2001), and Lensey Namioka's The Hungriest Boy in the World (Holiday, 2001) also feature inveterate eaters but end with the thwarting of the hungry protagonist. The last spread of Sharkey's book shows that the hillside has been cleared of everything but the Beast. However, the cartoon style of the illustrations and the absurdity of the animals' claims plant the narrative firmly in fantasy and help alleviate potential fears. The oversized pages and hand lettering add to the effectiveness of the design and will facilitate group sharing. Repetitive aspects of the tale, such as the boast "Now THAT's what I call hungry," add to the read-aloud potential. Children will eat this up.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.