cover image You Are the Pea, and I Am the Carrot

You Are the Pea, and I Am the Carrot

J. Theron Elkins, illus. by Pascal Lemaitre. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0850-3

Debut author Elkins hits the collaborator jackpot with veteran cartoonist and master of sly visual humor Lemaitre, who takes a catalogue of cute but unsurprising rhymes about food and friendship and turns them into a showcase of inventive foodie anthropomorphism and sweet silliness. For “You are the dog, and I am the relish,” Lemaitre imagines the hot dog as a glamorous celebrity descending a staircase, with the relish acting as a coif worthy of Lady Gaga. Elsewhere, bread and butter slow dance to a gramophone (“I am the butter, and you are the bread”), and the pairing of “Sunny-side eggs with Canadian ham” inspires a Northwoods scene, with the eggs’ bright yellow yolks serving as eyes mooning over the canoe-paddling, lumberjack-outfitted bacon. Every vignette is worth at least a giggle, usually an “Awww,” and, in one instance, a book of its own: What’s the story behind the tearful reunion of macaroni and a cheese wedge on the landscape of an alien world? Ages 3–7. Author’s agent: Becky Amster, Becky Amster Literary Enterprises. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Nov.)