cover image A Busy Creature’s Day Eating: An Alphabetical Smorgasbord

A Busy Creature’s Day Eating: An Alphabetical Smorgasbord

Mo Willems. Hyperion, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-368-01352-9

G is for gluttony (ok, “gravy,” technically) in Willems’s madcap abecedary, built around a youngster who devours everything in sight, then suffers the consequences. Purple, wide-eyed, and resembling a cross between a monkey, dog, and Muppet, the young creature explodes out of bed and into an alphabetical meal of “Apples! Berries! Cereal!” It isn’t pretty: Granny Smiths and strawberries go flying, and the creature dives face-first into its cereal bowl. The text is limited to whatever the creature is eating at the moment (and the accompanying alphabet letter), and Willems captures each moment in frenetically cartooned vignettes and larger scenes. Soon, food isn’t enough: “Jacket! Kilt! Lunch Box!” (Hilariously, the creature dumps the food out of the lunch box before devouring it.) Queasiness follows (just in time for Q), and parental consolation is required: V is for “vomit,” a much tidier affair than all of the eating that precedes it. There are a lot of laughs in this feeding frenzy, but just as much tenderness in the final scenes, which poignantly reflect the ABCs of TLC. Ages 3–5. [em]Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Mar.) [/em]