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FEED 'EM FRED by Dustin Brooks


by Dustin Brooks & illustrated by Betty Le Bon & developed by Digital Leaf

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: July 15th, 2011
Publisher: Digital Leaf

A new chef with a bag full of horse eyes and other disgusting ingredients cures a picky lad’s aversion to “healthy” foods.

In tortuous verse—“There was a boy quite scared of food / His carrots made him nervous, / To him fruits simply had no use / And veggies lacked all purpose”—young William is ultimately starved into accepting his worried mother’s roast pork and other wholesome dishes. This is accomplished after chef Fred Mangetout serves up an array of revolting repasts: cockroach pizza, roasted snake in sheep-blood marinade, snail porridge, termite toast with spiders’ legs and similar delights. In keeping with Le Bon’s cartoon scenes of a ski-nosed cook in a soot-colored jacket and toque, gleefully serving all-too-identifiable dishes to a comically dismayed child, the audio track features spirited narration in equally plummy British and French accents over bistro-type accordion music. Readers can switch voice and music off together, with the option of hearing any verse by tapping it, and also select either manual or auto advance. Sparkles or verbal directions on most but not all screens cue taps or slides that sluggishly activate gagging sounds, rude noises, snide side comments and fades or other animated effects. Tap the cockroach on any page to open an index of thumbnail images.

Lunch, anyone? Thought not. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)