ARTICHOKE BOY by Scott Mickelson


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 7
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Mickelson takes a bold stab at trying to make the artichoke an object of amusement, but as vegetables go, the spiny globe is more strange than humorous. And the same goes for Artichoke Boy, who looks less comical than plain gaga. The simple, rhymed text (there is no actual story, just artichokes in strange circumstances) tells readers that he has artichoke fingers, ears, nose, elbows and knees, though only on the page with the corresponding snippet of rhyme, and never again. He is not so much Artichoke Boy as Boy with Artichoke Obsession: He sleds on an artichoke leaf and has an artichoke fish; he has an artichoke toothbrush and takes artichoke baths. Halfway through, the artichoke joke flags, both text and artwork, which is a mixed-media collage of artichoke photographs shaped and applied to fields of color on which sport Jules Feiffer–ish characters. The artwork has moments: Those artichoke knees are droll, though not so the artichoke simply plopped in the fish tank. Artichoke Boy’s joy in artichokes seems more a clinical issue than it is a bit of tomfool fun. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-605-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2008