FOOD FIGHT!

Upstairs, the people of the house are sleeping; downstairs, the residents of the refrigerator are ready to party hearty in this pun-tastical midnight ramble. “ ‘Lettuce have a party!’ ” say the salad greens and everyone cuts loose: “the almonds acted nutty, the pretzels did a twist, the Swiss cheese yodeled when the chocolate kissed . . . ” But things quickly get out of hand, and soon the hot dogs are barking, the noodles are calling the soup “Chicken,” and all are roaring, “FOOD FIGHT! FOOD FIGHT! IT’S A FOOD FIGHT! WE’RE GONNA MIX IT UP AND FIGHT ALL NIGHT!” Displaying an amazing facility with modeling clay, Gay-Kassel puts tiny but expressive faces on realistically detailed, brightly colored edibles, which are then strewn—as are streaming lines of text—with gay abandon across vividly tinted backgrounds. Eventually the hullabaloo brings out a corps of stern-faced spuds who organize a clean-up detail, just in time for morning. It’s the biggest, freshest, and funniest array of groceries since Freymann & Elffers’s How Are You Peeling? (1999). (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: July 1, 2002

ISBN: 1-929766-29-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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HELLO, HARVEST MOON

As atmospheric as its companion, Twilight Comes Twice, this tone poem pairs poetically intense writing with luminescent oils featuring widely spaced houses, open lawns, and clumps of autumnal trees, all lit by a huge full moon. Fletcher tracks that moon’s nocturnal path in language rich in metaphor: “With silent slippers / it climbs the night stairs,” “staining earth and sky with a ghostly glow,” lighting up a child’s bedroom, the wings of a small plane, moonflowers, and, ranging further afield, harbor waves and the shells of turtle hatchlings on a beach. Using creamy brushwork and subtly muted colors, Kiesler depicts each landscape, each night creature from Luna moths to a sleepless child and her cat, as well as the great moon sweeping across star-flecked skies, from varied but never vertiginous angles. Closing with moonset, as dawn illuminates the world with a different kind of light, this makes peaceful reading either in season, or on any moonlit night. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2003

ISBN: 0-618-16451-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

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BUBBA, THE COWBOY PRINCE

A FRACTURED TEXAS TALE

A Cinderella parody features the off-the-wall, whang-dang Texas hyperbole of Ketteman (The Year of No More Corn, 1993, etc.) and the insouciance of Warhola, who proves himself only too capable of creating a fairy godcow; that she's so appealingly whimsical makes it easy to accept the classic tale's inversions. The protagonist is Bubba, appropriately downtrodden and overworked by his wicked stepdaddy and loathsome brothers Dwayne and Milton, who spend their days bossing him around. The other half of the happy couple is Miz Lurleen, who owns ``the biggest spread west of the Brazos.'' She craves male companionship to help her work the place, ``and it wouldn't hurt if he was cute as a cow's ear, either.'' There are no surprises in this version except in the hilarious way the premise plays itself out and in Warhola's delightful visual surprises. When Lurleen tracks the bootless Bubba down, ``Dwayne and Milton and their wicked daddy threw chicken fits.'' Bubba and babe, hair as big as a Texas sun, ride off to a life of happy ranching, and readers will be proud to have been along for the courtship. (Picture book/folklore. 6-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-590-25506-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1997

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