136H: “The Honky Beast” (solved)

Young child’s book illustrated.  Story set either in the jungle or the African plain.  Everyone is warning the main character about the terrible Honky Beast who roars around terribly fast and making frightening sounds.  In the end the beast turns out to have been a large powerful automobile.


7 thoughts on “136H: “The Honky Beast” (solved)

  1. chanda

    I’ve found a few references online to such a book, but it appears to be very old and somewhat obscure.

    According to the Dec. 5th, 1943 edition of the Nebraska State Journal, 4-year-old Cobey Venner identified a book called “Raffy and the Honky Beast” as one of his favorites on a radio program called “Adventures in Books, as part of the Lincoln City Library’s book week program.

    There is also a book called “Growing Up in Bridgeport in the 40’s and 50’s” by Arthur Dale that refers to a story called “The Honky Beast” in a brief anecdote about his first grade teacher, Frances Berlin. “One day she read us a story about a “Honky Beast”. After reading the title, she asked if any of us had ever seen one. Dale Roush said he thought he saw one at the Evansville Zoo. The Honky Beast turned out to be an automobile whose owner was always honking the horn. I’m sure Dale saw several of these beasts at the zoo.”

    I also saw one person on a “favorite books” forum who mentioned a book called “Geoffrey and the Honkey Beast.” This might be a more recent book, since some of the other titles mentioned by that poster were fairly recent – Harry Potter, Nate the Great, Animorphs, and the Bailey School Kids – or it could have been an older book belonging to the poster’s parent or grandparent.

    Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find anything on abe, worldcat, or bookfinder with any of those titles. Perhaps it was a story contained in an anthology or primer, rather than a stand-alone book? I don’t know if this information will help, but thought I’d pass it along anyway. Good luck!

    1. Michael King

      I remember a teacher that read us this book in elementary school, 3 fr or 4 the grade. Couldn’t understand why some one would name a book. Honky…. Of course this was in mid 70’s during DE SEGREGATION

  2. cathy

    “Raffy and the Honkebeest” by Rita Kissin: A young giraffe, who can outrun all the other creatures of the jungle, wins his laurels when he races an automobile and wins.

    1. Steven C Dennis

      That’s the book. Thank you. With the name and author I’ve already been able to locate a copy and made a purchase. Thanks again.


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