Would a supermarket catering to animals stock pizza? Ice cream? Sugary snacks?
Definitely not, at least according to this import. Instead, the snail is going to opt for lettuce, kale and herbs, the goat for turnips and gourds, the cat for milk (“the kind with the double cream”), and the seals for fresh mackerel and canned sardines. A three-for-two sale on crumbs draws ants and birds, the gibbons will go for grubs, and for bee customers, the whole frozen-food section (“never very popular”) has been replaced by a meadow. Though most of the stock is neatly stacked on shelves or in shopping carts in the painterly illustrations, bears snack on pawsful of blueberries, a mongoose steals eggs, and there are other signs of lively disorder. Mulazzani dresses her thickly brushed animals in human clothes and stands them up on hind legs, but they’re still recognizable enough to match, in a closing visual quiz, with arrays of preferred edibles—including, perhaps as a concession to human viewers, fruit ices and minipizzas—spread out on a table. Packaged and processed goods? Still in evidence. Nonetheless, the overall emphasis on fresh fruits and veggies sends a salutary message to young consumers.
A tongue-in-cheek reminder that good food doesn’t have to come in a box, jar or plastic bag. (Picture book. 5-7)