cover image A Few Bites

A Few Bites

Cyb%C3%A8le Young. Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-55498-295-0

Young's A Few Blocks pitted the imaginative powers of a girl named Viola against the stubbornness of her younger brother, Ferdie. Now Viola has made lunch for Ferdie%E2%80%94broccoli, carrots, and ravioli%E2%80%94and he balks. "What's this? I'm definitely not eating it. No, thank you. I'm not even hungry," he tells her. "That's actually dinosaur food," says Viola smoothly. "It was around during the Cretaceous, and if you were a dinosaur you would have had to eat five thousand of those broccolis every day." As Viola talks, Young represents the girl's skill at turning the boring into the fanciful by doing the same to their suburban surroundings%E2%80%94the pet cat is shown within the silhouette of a large dinosaur, while lights become flying saucers and anglerfish in subsequent episodes. For readers, the pleasure comes as much from the satisfaction of watching Viola succeed in sweet-talking Ferdie as from the whimsy of the fantasies themselves. It's an added treat to see Ferdie rise to the occasion when Viola runs out of patience. Young's illustrative and design powers are considerable, and she's created another handsome piece of work. Ages 4%E2%80%937. (Sept.)