THE LIMA BEAN MONSTER

Dan Yaccarino, Author, Adam McCauley, Illustrator , illus. by Adam McCauley. Walker $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8027-8776-7

In this mock-horror yarn about leftover veggies, evil greens terrorize a community. The trouble starts when lima-bean-hating Sammy stows his side dish in his sock when his mother isn't looking. He runs outside "with a sock full of hot, squishy beans," and with a fiendish grin, he buries the evidence. "Soon all the kids in the neighborhood were throwing their brussels sprouts, parsnips, and lima beans down into the hole," along with "ugly birthday sweaters, failed spelling tests, tap shoes and even an accordion." The succotash hits the fan one stormy night, when lightning strikes the heap and a bumpy face with lima-bean-shaped eyes and a broccoli nose rises from the earth, roaring, "Me want some human beans!" The only way to stop a legume creature is to eat it, and McCauley (My Friend Chicken) provides a hilarious image of vicious children digging their teeth into the gooey green golem. Yaccarino (Oswald the Octopus) sometimes reiterates what the pictures convey wordlessly. But the slimy beast ("It stank of lima beans and sweaty socks! Yuck!") has surefire gross-out appeal and no hollow pretensions of nutritional value. Even bean-proponents may push their plates away after this comical serving suggestion. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/30/2001
Release date: 01/01/2001
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