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GUS AND BUTTON by Saxton Freymann


by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers & photographed by Saxton Freymann & Joost Elffers

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-439-11015-7
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Definitely on a roll—or more accurately, a rutabaga—the creators of Dr. Pompo’s Nose (2000) assemble another world entirely from photographs of lusciously fresh, cleverly sculpted produce. A wind-blown baby pea tempts young Gus, all mushroom caps and stems, to set out through the towering artichokes of Howling Forest with his similarly fungal canine sidekick, Button. Surviving an encounter with the wood’s predatory resident (an artichoke wolf), the intrepid explorers discover on the other side a shining metropolis built amidst groves of broccoli and parsley from squash of various stripes, bright peppers, melons, and vegetables. After returning the pea to its grateful mother, Gus brings some of that color back to his own unrelievedly beige hometown. The digitally arranged tableaus accompany a sprightly rhymed text—“ ‘You crossed the wolfy woods?’ gasped Belle, ‘That is just incredible. / Either you are very brave, or you must be inedible.” In an afterword, the authors explain that everything has been made with real food, though the placement is digitally arranged. Playing with food has never been this much fun. (Picture book. 5-8)