cover image Are We Pears Yet?

Are We Pears Yet?

Miranda Paul, illus. by Carin Berger. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62672-351-1

Paul (10 Little Ninjas) and Berger (Good Night! Good Night!) transport readers to a music hall stage, complete with footlights, and present a theatrical revue starring two pear seeds. One is smaller, impatient, and endlessly interrogative, playing a Costello role to the taller, savvier seed’s Abbott. As their rat-a-tat repartee appears in speech balloons, the stages of the seeds’ growth are ushered in with low-tech props and costume changes: when the bigger seed explains that they can’t grow without rain, a member of the stage crew (an eccentric bunch of birdlike figures in top hats) materializes with a curtain rod from which hangs a cutout cloud and raindrops. The story gets a little complicated as the seeds grow into trees and it becomes clear that they’ll produce pears rather than become them (the smaller seed channels readers’ potential confusion). But Berger’s quirky collages are so stylish and fun, and Paul’s dialogue so friendly and funny, that it’s easily forgiven. An inventive treatment of a tried and true topic. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent: Karen Grencik, Red Fox Literary. (Sept.) [/em]