Baby Sam, a reluctant eater, finally takes a bite with the help of the spoon-as-airplane trick.
The book comes with a set of cardboard wings that adults can punch out of the back of the book and then fold around any adult-sized spoon to make it into an airplane. At the beginning of the book, Sam stubbornly sits with mouth shut tight in his high chair. Mom holds a wing-adorned spoon, promising, “These yummy green beans will make you big as an elephant!” Across the gutter, Sam’s father casts an elephant-shaped shadow on the wall. The pattern repeats with other foodstuffs and animals. When his parents have given up all hope, Sam proudly grabs the airplane spoon and shovels in a mound of grub. Burks’ retro cartoons in a muted color palette look hip, and the expressions of the various family members will be clear and accessible to little ones. While the cardboard-plane spoon is a very clever idea and it is relatively easy to construct, it will be difficult for toddlers to grasp on their own as depicted and will likely not survive very many repeat “landings” (the instructions recommend using the original as a pattern to trace and cut out a replacement). Since many parents may want to share this title at meal times, a sturdier, washable material would have been a better choice for this project.
Enjoyable propaganda. (Board book. 1-2)