Arlo the pea wants to grow up to find out what he’ll be.
“At the end of the garden, / next to the berries, // lived Mary / and Gary / and Terry / and Sherry… / and Arlo.” Arlo has no desire to end up in a salad or a stir-fry, so he drops to the ground and begins an epic roll. “Past cucumbers, lettuce, a red-spotted bug— / until he bumped into a hungry gray slug.” The slug tries to eat him, but Arlo escapes and continues his roll past a hungry stink bug and out of the garden into the yard. In the yard, he evades a huge crow and a line of ants having a snack attack, eventually rolling up to a digging dog that flings Arlo through the air. Pooped, Arlo goes to sleep—and while he’s asleep, he grows. One sunny day, he wakes up to discover he’s a vine. He’s so happy he blossoms and starts the process all over. Pearson’s rhymed tale is not only good fun to read, but it’s also a great introduction to the plant life cycle. Ebbeler’s acrylic illustrations of bespectacled Arlo are a mix of full-bleed and panels, and with their vertiginous perspectives, they add extra bounce to this pea’s promenade.
Gardening goodness, just the ticket for a science storytime or cozy lap reading. (Picture book. 4-7)