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THE SHIVERS IN THE FRIDGE by Fran Manushkin Kirkus Star


by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-525-46943-5
Publisher: Dutton

What if a family of five kitchen magnets were marooned in the fridge with only their cardboard box for warmth? Manushkin’s sparkling mix of folkloric repetition, funny dialogue and—“PHOOMPH!!!”—perfectly chosen sound effects, cleverly withholds its punch line till the end. All day, the Shivers face predictable but rattling events: quaking rumbles, blazes of light, “monsters” that “reached out, reached out” to snatch away bits of the foodscape. One by one, each Shiver—by design or accident—is whisked off to an uncertain fate. (In a hilarious union of art and text, Mama cavorts in warm Emerald Lake—only to stick fast as the gelatin sets: “Emerald Lake, Jolly Whip—and MAMA!—were gone.”) The antic mixed media spreads hum: Compositions agreeably evoke Paul Galdone with fresh, original garnishes. Zelinsky runs with the authorial metaphor, depicting the fridge contents as a skewed, teeming village—where a milk carton’s top is a pitched roof, and broccoli’s a tree. From endpapers on, hidden visual clues hint at the Shivers’ magnetic personalities. Cool ingredients for read-aloud laughs. (Picture book. 4-8)