Persnickety Mrs. Pickle is very particular about her tastes. "I like the things I like, I'm very sure of that. I needn't ever change because I'm happy where I'm at." And what is it Mrs. Pickle likes? Pickles, of course. Pickles, and pickle-pigmented things. From her emerald green eyelids to her grassy green shoes, this woman exudes pickle. But is her green conviction masking a deeper fear of trying new things? Her stubborn niece Sophie Claire thinks so, and proposes a challenge for her aunt: try a tiny bite of something new, and "I'll walk your dog for one whole year and polish all your shoes." How could Mrs. Pickle turn down an offer like that?
Anyone who is shy to try anything new can relate to Mrs. Pickle's pickle. Would that we all had a Sophie Claire in our lives, who brooks no nonsense, and lovingly escorts us out of our comfortable ruts. Christine Schneider's fabulously bright illustrations will perk up the most finicky consumer. Everyone will cheer as Mrs. Pickle opens her green-shadowed eyes (literally and figuratively--her eyes are snootily closed up until Sophie Claire's eye-opening proposition) to her niece's more adventuresome world of eggplant ripple ice cream and sky blue shoes. (Ages 3 to 10) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
Anyone who has attempted to persuade someone stuck in their ways to try something new will find an ally in this tale of an eccentric who finally gives in. "I needn't ever change because I'm happy where I'm at," declares Mrs. Pickle, who wears nothing but green and eats nothing but pickles: pickle parfait ice cream, pickle bread, pickle pie. Her poodle and alter ego, Dill, sports a green sweater and eats pickles from a green dog dish. Schneider's (Jeremy's Muffler) art features wildly skewed perspectives, an impressive array of verdant, distorted shapes and loads of funny details: a warty atomizer of "eau de pickle no. 19"; a pickle-shaped dish on a similarly shaped coffee table; even the protagonist's figure resembles a giant, plump pickle. When her niece finally bribes and bullies Mrs. Pickle into sampling some eggplant ripple ice cream, the heroine realizes she has been missing out. The rhyming text is sometimes clever, sometimes flat, as in the lines "Little Sophie Claire,/ however, always/ speaks her mind./ She's Mrs. Pickle's/ youngest niece,/ and she's/ one of a kind." While readers may still shrink from sampling eggplant ripple or turnip treacle ice cream, the buoyant story of Mrs. Pickle's enlightenment is a reminder that they just won't know unless they try it. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)
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