"...Shasha's attractive pastel illustrations are particularly effective in showing the
interplay of light and shadow..."

-School Library Journal

The Hall of Beasts

A magical mural painted long ago in a sea captain’s inn. Now the old inn on a lonely stretch of beach is all but forgotten. On the day before it’s to be torn down, Jennie’s grandfather takes her for a last look at this magical place and its mysterious masterpiece.

As they enter the abandoned great hall, the mural long cloaked in darkness, comes alive in a breathtaking parade of enchanted beasts. Mark Shasha’s evocative paintings spin a spellbinding tale of the special magic of art.

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"A quiet, unusual book that celebrates the magic of art...down to earth charm.."
School Library Journal

"...The Hall of Beasts is for young listeners who not only like being in on a secret but also appreciate a quiet and mysterious tale."
- Booklist

"...Shows the loving process of passing along the secrets and subtle magic of life from one generation to another."
- Smithsonian

Alternate selection of the
Book of the Month Club

"Subtle clues suggest hidden layers to the story...intended for the reader who enjoys mysteries..." *

"...Beautifully illustrated" *

"...short and sweet and satisfying" *

*Amazon Readers


"So many layers to this book... Shasha reminds us that there is much to share with our children... hearkens back to a simpler time when part of being a kid was sharing experiences with your elders and learning to enjoy life with them"

- Kids Aboard Magazine


The curious jellies which appear in my story and which I call 'moonjellies' are also known as ‘comb jellies’. The scientific name for them is Ctenophores. They are colorless, transparent and bioluminescent; they create their own light. Moonjellies are not true jelly fish and do not sting.

August and September are the best months to find moonjellies along the coast of New England. Sometimes moonjellies may appear in such large numbers that the waves will light up with them at night.

Though easiest to find at night, my friends and I could also find them during the day at the local beach by looking carefully for their small oval-shaped shadows moving with the current across the bottom of the creek. And of course, as in my story, moonjellies may sometimes be found tossed up by a wave onto a sandy beach.

-Mark Shasha

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"Sure to become a classic"
- Smithsonian

"Beautifully illustrated...evokes the fullness of a New England childhood. A strongly atmospheric work"
- Publisher's Weekly

"Warm and atmospheric"
- American Booksellers Association

"A strong debut"
- School Library Journal

“Pick of the Lists”
American Bookseller’s Association

"Warmth spreads from cover to cover"
- Booklist

"Alluring and dreamy...Shasha creates windows into a world full of detail"
- The New York Times

"Full of the comforting details of childhood"
- Horn Book

Recommended by "Sesame Street"

Winner of a Marion Vannett Ridgway Book Award