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by Judi Barrett and illustrated by Ron Barrett

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-545-04653-4
Publisher: Scholastic

Timed to coincide with the release of the film of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, this unrelated tale from the Barretts is a wan fable about Getting Along, enlivened with a little pale silliness. The medieval-ish towns of Left and Right (inhabited by persons of the corresponding handedness) are close to each other but separated by a dotted yellow line guarded by the Order of the Ambidextrous Knights of the Dotted Yellow Line—which, thanks to a poetic member of the order, has in its castle 50,000 boxes of marshmallows won some years earlier in a contest. When a hapless resident of Right accidentally falls over the line, the Knights let loose with volleys of marshmallows “until one of the knights realize[s] how silly the whole thing [is]” and the people of Left and Right decide to erase the line and live happily ever after in peace, harmony and marshmallows. The overlong text never really gets past its vaguely Monty Python–esque premise, making it an insufficiently daffy, one-joke Lesson in Cooperation rather than the full-on goof-fest that made the Barretts’ earlier book such a favorite. (Picture book. 4-8)