THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS

Arcimboldo meets Mad Magazine as a monster that looks like a cross between an octopus and a compost pile bargains with a young narrator willing to sacrifice his prized soccer ball, and even his new bike, rather than eat peas. The creature wears a battered top hat above its many waving eyestalks and tentacles, and there’s a Seussian (or Clement Clarke Moore) flavor to the rhymed text as well: “His ears were like mushrooms, his chin like a beet, / And he balanced himself on two big stinky feet,” etc. Coming to regret each treasure’s loss, the lad at last screws his courage to the sticking place and samples the dreaded green stuff—only (unsurprisingly) to discover that he likes it. The monster shrivels away forthwith. Though readers may find it hard to swallow the ending (and some lines of text are swallowed by the art over which they’re printed), the rollicking rhythms and madcap, over-the-top art give this successor to Sarah Wilson’s out-of-print Muskrat, Muskrat Eat Your Peas (1989) plenty of comic energy. On to Faust. (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2001

ISBN: 1-56145-216-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2001

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JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD!

McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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