THE BURGER AND THE HOT DOG

Jim Aylesworth, Author, Stephen Gammell, Illustrator , illus. by Stephen Gammell. S&S/Atheneum $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-689-83897-2

Zany food rhymes and humorous portraits of bagels and bananas are the special of the day in this new collaboration from Aylesworth and Gammell (previously teamed for Old Black Fly). The 23 catchy verses feature personality-packed edible stars, dilemmas that turn on the food's trademark characteristics and loads of goofy puns. " 'You're pretty!' said an orange/ To a lemon who seemed pleased./ 'In fact, my dear, so pretty,/ You're at risk of getting squeezed!' " Gammell's fruits and vegetables resemble the California Raisins (to whom the book is dedicated), with tiny arms and legs and squished-together facial features particularly well-suited for registering surprise. He has even more fun rendering the personal crises of his subjects, painting rowdy cookies who disintegrate when they attack a bagel and gooey sticky cinnamon buns who cannot enjoy even the simplest pleasures of social interaction: " 'We can't shake hands!' 'No, never!'/ 'Simple hugs just can't be done!'/ 'And should we bump together,/ Oh, my, no, that's never fun!' " The chunky blocks of text share center stage with the smoothly paced images, enhancing the book's visual punch; brushstroked poem titles seem to drip along with the ketchup and mustard. Youngsters will enjoy finding out what the denizens of your neighborhood diner do after the waitresses turn out the lights and go home for the night. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/05/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Genre: Children's
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