cover image Pass the Fritters, Critters

Pass the Fritters, Critters

Cheryl Chapman. Four Winds, $16 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-02-717975-0

If Miss Manners swallowed a rhyming dictionary, she might have produced this spirited seminar on lunchtime etiquette. A boy at table issues a series of requests--``Pass the cantaloupe, Antelope,'' ``Pass the muffin, Puffin,'' etc.--but he is refused each time. Finally, an adult reminds him that there's a ``magic word,'' which, of course, is ``please.'' The banquet then begins, and the boy dispels all doubts about his courtesy with such pleasantries as ``After you, Kangaroo.'' Roth's cut-paper collages, far more suggestive here than in Another Christmas , add to the zaniness with gay swaths of color and festive touches (the fritters of the title seem to have been cut out with pinking shears; a bunny and a bear are fringed to hint at their furriness; napkins and bibs come from checkerboard-print paper). Best of all is the presiding adult, so large that when she appears full-figure, you have to turn the book sideways--and you still can't see her head. Like the rest of these pictures, it shows enough to make the reader laugh and it leaves just enough to the imagination. Ages 3-5. (Mar.)