That Pesky Toaster

Ben Hillman, Author
Ben Hillman, Author Hyperion Books $13.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-7868-0033-9
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-7868-2028-3
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In this disjointed, pseudo-science fiction yarn, MTV Liquid Television cartoonist Hillman introduces a sturdy, babushka-wearing baker named Goldie, her undershirted, five-o'clock-shadowed husband, Gus, and the eponymous appliance, which stands on four bulldog-type legs. Goldie, presiding over a rural cottage that houses a rackful of lethal-looking kitchen implements, yells, ``Banzai!'' as she violently slices some bread and loads it into her toaster. But the ornery appliance spits out a galaxy, which whirls around the pantry. Goldie and her broom follow in hot pursuit-``I smacked it so hard, the varmint crashed into total astrophysical collapse!'' A black hole results, which Gus accidentally ingests when it hides in his bumbleberry pie. The next morning, ``the universe was turned inside out,'' and the sun rises in the west. Maybe it's the black hole's fault, but this tale is mightily confusing. Its assorted styles never coalesce into a logical (or even illogical) whole. Although Hillman's homespun ink, gouache and oil illustrations convey his SF-meets-folklife intent, their approach, like the tale's, seems scattershot. Ages 4-8. (May)
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