cover image The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes

The Popcorn Astronauts: And Other Biteable Rhymes

Deborah Ruddell, illus. by Joan Rankin. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-6555-8

The team behind Today at the Bluebird Cafe and A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk reunites for a playful grouping of 21 food-themed poems, organized by season and likely to be as crowd-pleasing as “The Noodles Nibbled Nationwide!/ The Famous Food Celebrities!/ The Couple That You Know and Love!/ The One, the Only, MAC and CHEESE!” (Ruddell knows her audience.) The author is similarly rhapsodic about guacamole and a smoothie of questionable ingredients (“A whisper of pickle/ is what I detect/ with glimmers of turnip/ I didn’t expect”), but making raisins from grapes is another story (“let them go until they look/ like wrinkled rubber rocks/ and have the bold, enchanting taste/ of well-worn pirate socks”). Rankin’s watercolors match Ruddell’s whimsy and enthusiasm ounce for ounce, making for delectable reading. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)