THE SHOPPING BASKET by John Burningham


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Steven is a nerdy looking kid with skinny legs and glasses, but a sly one when it comes to outwitting the various animals who make demands on his market basket. Sent to the grocery store to buy "six eggs, five bananas, four apples, three oranges for the baby, two doughnuts, and a package of crisps for your lunch," Steven is met on leaving the store by a bear who demands his eggs. "If I threw an egg up in the air, you are so slow I bet you couldn't even catch it," challenges Steven--thereby saving all but the one tossed egg. And so he deals with a monkey who wants the bananas, a kangaroo who is after the apples ("If I threw an apple over that tent, you're so clumsy I bet you couldn't even jump over to get it"), a goat (there goes an orange. . .), a pig (. . . and a doughnut), and an elephant--whom Steven leaves with his trunk stuck in a letter box, reaching for the crisps. Is Burningham sneaking an arithmetic lesson in between lines? Well, not so anyone would notice, with all the fun of seeing Steven, who looks so unprepossessing, facing up to all the commanding animals. Then Burningham gives the joke another turn with a characteristic poke at an obtuse Mom: "How could it have taken so long?" Sly and satisfying.
Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 1980
ISBN: 0763600989
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: T.Y. Crowell
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1980


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