Children stage a surprising revolution in an ultrasweet kingdom ruled by a sugared tyrant.
Candyville certainly looks delicious, with lollipop trees and cupcake flowers and rivers of root beer, all in sweet, bright colors. But the place is ruled by the evil Juicy Jelly Worm, a pink-and-golden monster that gorges on sweets all day, which he forces the children of the land to harvest. Worst of all, they are not allowed to partake. They dig a secret garden, plant some special seeds and wait for their vegetables to grow. Juicy Jelly Worm learns of their activities and demands to see the garden. The children are one step ahead of him, highlighting the "sweet" in sweet potatoes, the "cherry" in cherry tomatoes, the "butter" in butternut squash. The Juicy Jelly Worm wants it all—"Candy?…Mine!"—and the cleverest of the children makes a provocative proposal. The salivating Worm agrees to trade his kingdom for the garden of the children. And so they get all the sweets! Snyder peppers the book with tiny boxed messages, apparently intended to ensure that readers see her story as a spoof: "Warning: Children have died from eating their veggies." But will they get the irony? Dávila's bright pictures look truly delectable, and nutritionists and dentists everywhere will groan as the children chomp down on all the sweets.
Read the book and then go brush your teeth. (Picture book. 3-6)