This terrific tater will appeal to plenty of tots.

SUPERTATO

Who rolls into action when an “escapee” from the freezer sets off an after-hours supermarket ruckus?

It’s all eyes on Supertato, racing to the rescue as someone swathes Cucumber in toilet paper, tapes Carrot to the conveyor belt with Band-Aids, and pushes hapless little veggies into a vat of gooey dip. Yes, there’s a pea on the loose—chortling evilly (“Mwah ha ha ha ha!”) and leading the intrepid tuber on a merry chase over darkened shelves that nearly sees the pursuer himself pulverized before the leering legume can be trapped in a wobbly gelatin dessert and led back to cold storage. Whew! Hendra and Linnet put googly-eyed faces on all the produce, outfit the two leads with masks and capes, and leave it to sharp-eyed viewers to spot the elusive trickster masquerading as a cherry atop a cupcake in one cartoon scene or in other concealment. The breathless, alliterative narrative eschews obvious puns (like that one), but Broccoli’s comment that “This jelly tastes of pea!” will elicit a gale of storytime snickers, and a suggestion to check freezers at home for signs of a similar “escapee” adds an equally chewy bit of wordplay to the end. The black type is occasionally set on deep blue backgrounds, making those blocks of text a challenge to read.

This terrific tater will appeal to plenty of tots. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9037-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work.

SYLVIA'S SPINACH

A young spinach hater becomes a spinach lover after she has to grow her own in a class garden.

Unable to trade away the seed packet she gets from her teacher for tomatoes, cukes or anything else more palatable, Sylvia reluctantly plants and nurtures a pot of the despised veggie then transplants it outside in early spring. By the end of school, only the plot’s lettuce, radishes and spinach are actually ready to eat (talk about a badly designed class project!)—and Sylvia, once she nerves herself to take a nibble, discovers that the stuff is “not bad.” She brings home an armful and enjoys it from then on in every dish: “And that was the summer Sylvia Spivens said yes to spinach.” Raff uses unlined brushwork to give her simple cartoon illustrations a pleasantly freehand, airy look, and though Pryor skips over the (literally, for spinach) gritty details in both the story and an afterword, she does cover gardening basics in a simple and encouraging way.

Very young gardeners will need more information, but for certain picky eaters, the suggested strategy just might work. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9836615-1-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Readers to Eaters

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2012

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THE GIRL WHO LOVED WILD HORSES

            There are many parallel legends – the seal women, for example, with their strange sad longings – but none is more direct than this American Indian story of a girl who is carried away in a horses’ stampede…to ride thenceforth by the side of a beautiful stallion who leads the wild horses.  The girl had always loved horses, and seemed to understand them “in a special way”; a year after her disappearance her people find her riding beside the stallion, calf in tow, and take her home despite his strong resistance.  But she is unhappy and returns to the stallion; after that, a beautiful mare is seen riding always beside him.  Goble tells the story soberly, allowing it to settle, to find its own level.  The illustrations are in the familiar striking Goble style, but softened out here and there with masses of flowers and foliage – suitable perhaps for the switch in subject matter from war to love, but we miss the spanking clean design of Custer’s Last Battle and The Fetterman Fight.          6-7

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1978

ISBN: 0689845049

Page Count: -

Publisher: Bradbury

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1978

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