As page after page uses rhymes and puns to celebrate fruits, an orange, who is sadly aware of its nonrhyming name, provides commentary that encompasses a wide range of emotions—ending with a feeling of acceptance from the greater fruit community.
Funny, clever, and whimsical text includes a plethora of both terminal and internal rhymes. The fruits are collaged photographs that have been anthropomorphized with inked-on limbs and facial expressions. The expressiveness of the faces—especially of the orange—provides an irresistible match to the text. A bold-lettered refrain celebrates fruit: “They’re healthy happy colorful and cute!” The solitary orange gives various negative reactions to that litany and other verses, but readers will see through these defense mechanisms. Especially funny is the orange’s response to “If you aren’t a fan of cantaloupe, / then feed it to an antelope.” Staring up at the large, black woodblock print of the animal, upon whose back teeters the eponymous melon, the orange comments, “Well, that was a little forced.” Another treat (mostly for adults) is mustachioed Friedrich Nietzsche rhyming with “lychee” and “peachy.” After the orange finally admits that the book about fruit is “amazing,” a kind, observant apple brings the sulking citrus warmly into the group. Slight differences in typeface distinguish between the orange’s dialogue and the rest of the text, cuing caregivers to change voices for a perfect read-aloud.
Fruitful in every sense of the word. (Picture book. 4-8)