Chew, Chew, Gulp!

Lauren Thompson, illus. by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. S&S/McElderry, $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9744-3
Given the talent of these two collaborators, this book about different methods of eating comes across as fairly lackluster. In the opening scene, a multiracial cast of children announces, "Eating isn't hard to do./ Follow us!/ We'll show you." Painting in bright acrylics, Krosoczka (Punk Farm) shows a boy eating mashed potatoes ("Swirl it") and a girl eating spaghetti ("Curl it"), followed by a spread with a girl eating pudding ("Scoop it") and a boy eating licorice ("Loop it"). Each scene features a different background and coordinating patterned tablecloth, and the kids display enthusiasm for the various foods (labeled on each page) that may help sway picky eaters. Thompson (the Little Quack books) groups some verbs according to rhymes ("Sip it./ Nip it./ Pick it./ Lick it") or alliteration ("Chomp it. Chop it"), and she keeps the focus on the actions involved. The light verse has a bouncing rhythm, but while the project suggests that mealtime can be fun (especially when spaghetti or soup are involved) neither Krosoczka's generically cheery artwork nor Thompson's uncomplicated text have much zing. Ages 3–5. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/14/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
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