Burger Boy

Alan Durant, Author, Mei Matsuoka, Illustrator , illus. by Mei Matsuoka. Clarion $16 (29p) ISBN 978-0-618-71466-7

In Durant's (Always and Forever ) entertaining cautionary tale starring a picky eater, Benny's mother warns, "If you don't watch out, you'll turn into a burger one day ." Sure enough, Benny does. In a comical Gingerbread Boy sequence, Benny ends up being chased up hill and down by a pack of hungry dogs, a herd of cows ("Don't you know what burgers are made of?" they moo) and even a gaggle of rowdy boys. When he finally finds refuge with the Bigga Burgers Restaurant manager, it's his mother who saves him from being exploited—"That's no burger, that's my son! " Newcomer Matsuoka provides half the book's fun with her playful colored pencil, acrylics and cut-paper illustrations. Roly-poly Benny and his brown and yellow striped shirt slowly morph into a round mustard slathered burger with spindly legs. He desperately shouts, "I'm not a burger, I'm a boy! " to everyone he meets, but it's not until he starts eating his veggies that his plump bun-faced body returns back to normal. Benny's mother predicts that if he doesn't eat something besides veggies he'll turn into one, and Matsuoka pictures his orange pants elongating and his spikey hair turning green as a hungry rabbit hovers nearby. Durant's text is suitably fast-paced and efficient without a hint of didacticism, and Matsuoka's cheery illustrations brim with comical details in a book with its eat-right message served lightly on the side. Ages 4-7. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 09/04/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 40 pages - 978-0-547-76747-5
Hardcover - 25 pages - 978-1-84270-488-2
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-84270-537-7
Open Ebook - 40 pages - 978-0-547-53391-9
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-986-398-032-2
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