cover image My Little Sister Ate One Hare

My Little Sister Ate One Hare

Bill Grossman. Crown Books for Young Readers, $17 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-517-59600-5

In this zany, cumulative counting book, the narrator's ravenous sister devours--and manages to keep down--some decidedly unorthodox delicacies: ""My little sister ate 3 ants./ She even ate their underpants./ She ate 2 snakes. She ate 1 hare./ We thought she'd throw up then and there./ But she didn't."" Four shrews (plus their ""smelly socks and shoes""), five bats, six mice, seven polliwogs, eight worms and nine lizards don't interfere a whit with the insatiable child's digestive system... until she makes the mistake of eating 10 peas and everything comes back up, alive and well. Yes, Grossman's (Cowboy Ed) concept is, well, gross, but it's certainly of the kid-tickling variety. The rhyme and zippy rhythm never falter as Hawkes's (The Enormous Snore) equally offbeat art shows the widemouthed girl chowing down in some humorous guises: as a snake charmer swallowing her subjects; as a pirate making the doomed shrews walk the plank... into her mouth; as a cowgirl sauteing leaping lizards in a skillet. Other piquant details include the shocked expressions on the tasty victims' faces and the droll words printed on the girl's sweatshirt, ""Save the Whales (For Dessert)."" For those who are not quick to get queasy, enjoying this feast will surely be easy. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)