With elements similar to the Billy Goats Gruff and stories like Who Sank the Boat? or The Mitten, this book is full of quirky characters and laugh out loud moments. The Mighty Bitey are actually piranhas who lurk beneath a rope bridge in the jungle. Why are they waiting there? For some lunch to fall into the Nippy Pool, of course. And when some animals cross over on their way to a party, the piranhas convince each of them to stay on the bridge and play the musical instruments they are carrying. As the bridge dips lower and lower, readers will be turning the pages to see if disaster has struck yet.
Besides the humor of the story, including a twist at the end, there is also rich vocabulary. Words like lurking, wheedled, rickety, and delicately add to the descriptions of the situations and characters. There are also many instances of onomatopoeia - croak, creak, snap, scritch-scratch, even an oom-papah!
The illustrations are colorful and their black outlines emphasize each figure. I'm very curious about why the Chief Bitey is wearing a band-aid and how it stay on underwater. The smallest of the piranhas appears holding a knife and fork in his fins with a napkin around his neck as the bridge dips dangerously close to the water, while another piranha licks his lips. (Do fish have lips?)
This is a story that will be read and re-read, but there is so much to enjoy that it will be a pleasure each time.
I read an ARC provided by the publisher.