A title from the pantry shelf for the new-baby bookshelf.
Border’s Bent Objects photography personifies objects like peanut butter–slathered slices of bread, not with anthropomorphic faces but with limbs made of bent wire. Photographed scenes of little Peanut Butter talking with his parents (also depicted as pieces of peanut-buttered bread with wire limbs) while they are baking in the kitchen show him learning he’s going to be a big brother and worrying, “Is it hard?” His dad assures him, “Easy as Pie….You should ask her about it.” This wordplay with the idiom signals the entrance of a new foodstuffs character, Apple Pie, big sister to Blueberry and Cherry. Peanut Butter also seeks advice from Cucumber and Big Cheese. The culminating message that he just needs to be himself and to be loving is affirming, and it’s saved from treacle with a twist at book’s end that shows Peanut Butter arriving home to meet “a whole loaf of little brothers and sisters” and not just a new baby slice of bread. Missteps in pacing and phrasing may confuse readers along the way to this happy, bent ending—for example, a spread introduces little Pepper Jack in a photo before her mention in the text, which could lead some to assume she’s supposed to be her brother Big Cheese, tiny though she is.
Not the best thing since sliced bread—but warm and sweet nevertheless. (Picture book. 3-5)