A tyrant in a footed, mustard-colored onesie proves that no household is safe from the squeamishly finicky toddler.
Once solid food is introduced, it’s an uphill battle for supremacy. The tot or the caregivers—who will reign supreme? A parade of gourmet delectables is presented with fanfare, amid appreciative tongue swipes from the equally finicky family pet. Does it matter that the child presents as a green, bipedal iguana or that the pet resembles a reptilian anteater? No! “Nerp” means “NERP!” no matter the species. Who cares that these caregivers have clearly toiled at cooking for hours? Garble snarfy barflecrunch elicits a definitive “NERPITY NERPITY NERPITY NERP!” The surprise payoff will wrinkle a few faces in delighted disgust, but the toddler is happy—“Blurp”—and the caregivers are…resigned. Reul’s clever use of nonsensical monster vocabulary plays very well against the expressive green and yellow countenances of her charming and sympathetic characters. Even the scaly pet’s personality pops, especially when eying the foul contents of its food bowl. The creativity of the menu—both the names and the neon images—is half the fun of this homage to dinnertime chaos.
Will persnickety children drool after their own “squishalicious” masterpieces? “Yerpetty yerpetty yerpy yerp!” (Picture book. 2-7)