cover image I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato

I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato

Lauren Child. Candlewick Press (MA), $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1188-0

Child (Clarice Bean, That's Me) here serves up a delectable variation on the picky-eater-themed tale. Charlie's parents give him the formidable task of feeding dinner to his fussy younger sister, Lola. The clever boy cajoles his sibling into eating foods that she insists ""I do not eat."" The girl lists such forbidden fruits as carrots, peas, potatoes, fish sticks and--the most dreaded--tomatoes, all of which her brother is dishing up for the meal. ""These are not carrots. These are orange twiglets from Jupiter,"" maintains Charlie when Lola turns up her nose. He devises similarly tempting pseudonyms for other edibles: peas are rare ""green drops"" from Greenland that fall from the sky; mashed potatoes are cloud fluff from ""the pointiest peak of Mount Fuji."" A playful arrangement of type in a variety of fonts and sizes combined with mixed-media art that overlays photos on fanciful, childlike drawings provide a feast for young readers' eyes and mimic the boy's upbeat attitude. Finally, Lola herself follows her brother's example and asks him to pass the ""moonsquirters my favorite,"" otherwise known as guess what? Apt not to be satiated with one serving of this appetizing fare, youngsters will never--not ever--pass up a second helping. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)