FAST FOOD! GULP! GULP!
Hordes of ravenous animal characters munch their way through the pages of this homage to some favorite foods. With a sizzling pace befitting the book's title, Waber (The Mouse that Snored) first introduces Colonel Mane, owner of a fast-food chain. Dressed in the familiar white garb of another fast-food maverick with the same military moniker, this lion roars orders to his workers: "Flip that patty!/ Slap it on a bun! Pile on fries/ by the ton!" Out on the streets of Fast Food Town, the kid-pleasing sounds of satisfied snackers are heard in a recurring refrain: "Pick! Pick!/ Lick! Lick!/ Slurp! Slurp!/ Burp! Burp!" After touring a fast-food kitchen and listening to a sampling of the food orders taken over the phone, readers return to Colonel Mane's, where the cook quits: "After Cook said goodbye/ to the fast food pace…/ she got herself a job in a health food place" (leisurely preparing a menu kids will find considerably less appealing—parsnip fritters, zucchini pie). Sprinkled with silly details, the cartoon art lends additional spice, such as Jiffy Jack,/ big-shot boss/ on the fast food track," a caped jack rabbit holding a stopwatch and whistle. On the concluding page, Waber reveals a mother bird feeding a worm to her wee ones and writes: "Tweet! Tweet!/ Bon appétit—/ Whatever you eat." A satisfying morsel that kids will eagerly devour. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)