Ketchup Power and the Starship Meatloaf

Jerry Piasecki, Author Yearling Books $3.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-440-41401-8
Every bit as silly as it sounds, this unappetizing time-travel caper beams a starship from the 68th century back to the present. The crew's mission: to discover the long-lost recipe for ketchup, which, when stored in meat loaf, is future civilization's premier source of fuel. After an android passenger disguises their vehicle as a ranch house and herself as their mother, the four remaining travelers pose as elementary-school students and convince a home-ec teacher to hold a meat loaf-baking contest--a ploy to get their hands on a bountiful supply of ketchup. Attempting to muck up the works are the sinister cafeteria lunch ladies, sisters with ""broken teeth, strong buffalo breath and some unpleasant digestive problems"" who ""washed their hair twice a year, whether it needed it or not."" This odious duo gives pun-loving Piasecki carte blanche to heap on the grossness, which is apt to alienate more kids than it satisfies. Most youngsters will have their fill long before this farce wraps up and aren't likely to save room for the second course: Chocolate Rules and the Starship Meatloaf, due the same month. Ages 9-12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1997
Release date: 09/01/1997
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