CAN I EAT THAT?

Tempting fare for venturesome children, with a few tidbits for hipster parents who spend more time in restaurants than...

Wordplay and food play combine as an artist and a food critic explore edibles well beyond peanut butter and jelly.

Actually, jelly (or jam) does put in a couple of appearances—notably toward the end, following Stein’s observation that some eggs become chickens and some become breakfast. Before that though, he answers variations on the titular question, such as: “Can I eat… / …a potato? / …a tomato? / …a tornado?!” No, not a tornado, but “tonnato, a sauce from Italy made with tuna,” and likewise “tournedos” and also “tostada.” Interspersed with general foolery (“If there is…ketchup / is there…ketchdown?”), he goes on to solve the mysteries of pickles, eggplant, and chicken fingers, then closes with a rollicking illustrated list of “Can I Eat?” posers: “pineapple / pinecone / telephone / panettone / pony / cannoli,” etc., on the final page. Aside from one scene of human hands of diverse gender and skin color reaching for said pickles, Rothman focuses on edibles and tableware, and though the individual ingredients in the tostada, the jellyfish platter, and the bowl of uni donburi are hard to distinguish, in general her cleanly drawn and colored meats, veggies, and condiments are both easily recognizable and yummy looking.

Tempting fare for venturesome children, with a few tidbits for hipster parents who spend more time in restaurants than kitchens or farmers markets. (Informational picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 28, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-7148-7140-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Phaidon

Review Posted Online: March 1, 2016

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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