How Are You Peeling?: Foods with Moods

Saxton Freymann, Author, Joost Elffers, Joint Author Arthur A. Levine Books $16.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-439-10431-9
Photos of scowling oranges and gregarious scallions garnish this garden of delights from the creators of Play with Your Food. The recipe is simple and successful. Freymann and Elffers find a piece of ""expressive produce"" and attach two black-eyed peas for eyes. Without further ado, the veggie becomes a face, with a knobby stem or skinny root for a schnozzola; an upended mushroom has a hilarious piglike snout, while a kiwi fruit has a button nose. The animated groceries are exhibited, actual size or larger, against crisp hues of harvest gold, melon green or late-night-sky blue. Their groupings imply close relationships: lemons trade meaningful glances and a little onion cries. Meanwhile, the rhyming text draws comparisons between the emotive plants and its audience when it queries, ""Wired? Tired? Need a kiss?/ Do you know anyone like this?"" The plotless and largely superfluous narrative recommends expressing jealousy or affection (""When how you feel is understood,/ you have a friend, and that feels good""). It's a sentiment as healthy as an apple a day, but the book's real charm is derived from the almost-ready-made ""sculptures""--as an afterword calls them. This wish-I'd-thought-of-that compendium provides an excellent impetus for a craft session: the ingredients are cheap, and mistakes can be eaten as salad (if artists have the heart). All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
Hardcover - 978-0-439-11733-3
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