Lawrence David, , illus. by Scott Nash. . Dutton, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-47102-8

The "only talking pickle in the world" (who, naturally, has his own talk show) travels from New York City to Antarctica and back again, making a new friend in the process. David's (Beetle Boy) briny hero puts on a sweet face for his adoring public but, in private, is soured by loneliness in his enormous apartment. He travels to polar lands for an episode of his show and meets similarly disenchanted Penguin. " 'Why not go somewhere else?' Pickle asked.

Penguin put a wing to his head. 'Somewhere else? I've never been somewhere else before.' Pickle laughed. 'Well, then today's your lucky day—I'm from somewhere else. Come on along.' " Pickle acts as friend and guide for the wide-eyed waterfowl, first to tropical regions, then amid the bustle of city life. "As the ship entered New York Harbor, Penguin pointed to a large green lady standing in the water. 'Is she a sour pickle or a tree?' he asked. 'She's the Statue of Liberty,' Pickle told him. 'She welcomes people to America.' " When Penguin gets lost, Pickle uses his celebrity to reunite with his new pal. Nash (Tuff Fluff) cleverly crafts the verbose vegetable to look like a certain popular late-night host, right down to his glasses and tooth gap. But while the characters make an unlikely—if affable—pair, it seems uncertain whether their mild adventure will tempt readers' appetites. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)