This slight, rhyming ode—from one mate to another—employs food pairings as metaphors for the couple’s synchronous relationship, an odd subject for a children’s book.
“You are the pea, / And I am the carrot. // I am the butter, and you are the bread. / Warm fried chicken served with mashed potatoes, // Zesty dressing on a cold lettuce bed.” Four additional quatrains sling similar imagery, sandwiched between four-line choruses like “We belong together. / We’re such a tasty sweet. / We’re yummy, scrumptious morsels. / We’re the perfect little treat.” Awkward elision is sometimes deployed for the sake of scansion: “ ’mallows” and “ ’jacks” are a bit bewildering without their respective “marsh” and “flap.” Lemaitre’s pale, digitally colored drawings stage the personified food duos in whimsical, cartoonish settings: Blueberries dive into a cup of yogurt under a circus tent; a funnel cake skis down a hill of powdered sugar. The girl and boy (both Caucasian) are depicted with enough ambiguity that readers can, by preference, interpret them as adults, teens or kids. While some pictorial details amuse, the green tint of “a glass of sweet tea” strikes a slightly discordant note. The verse verges on doggerel. The text’s springboard is a cherished, symbiotic adult relationship (as Elkins’ dedication attests), which is lovely—but this sugarcoated attempt to render it palatable to children falls as flat as a ’jack.
A few funny visuals fail to redeem a saccharine premise. (Picture book. 3-7)