From School Library Journal
Grade 2-3?In this highly comic rhyming romp that surprisingly (and nicely) twists into a birthday story, Hoberman and Frazee tweak fussy eaters with style and panache. The author's lighthearted touch takes readers swiftly through the arrival of the Peters's seven children?each with a distinct bias for the food that he or she will or will not eat. Peter likes milk of a certain temperature, Lucy demands homemade pink lemonade, Jack limits his menu to applesauce, Mac insists his oatmeal be strained, Mary Lou consumes only "soft and squishy homemade bread," and the twins are strictly egg eaters. While Mrs. Peters lovingly accommodates her brood, Frazee's illustrations energetically depict the true story. Chaos reigns throughout the house as Mrs. Peters squeezes, strains, peels, kneads, and bakes, becoming wearier with every passing year. The minutia of a seven-child home spills around the pictures in a realistic but never obtrusive way, and the artist further bolsters the scenes with individualized and effective facial expressions and body postures. When Mother's birthday approaches, the children, taxing in their dietary demands but nonetheless loving, decide to treat her to "A breakfast made of all the foods/that kept them in such happy moods." The result, both hilarious and satisfying, could add humor to classroom units on nutrition and to discussions on sibling relationships; the book will also be a good companion to Lee Bennett Hopkins's Munching (Little, Brown, 1985).?Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Ages 4^-8. The combination of food and farce makes for an affectionate rhyming picture book about a family of picky eaters who drive their mother frantic. As each baby is born, it makes its rigid nutritional tastes known through bellowing demands. For example, Peter wants milk, but it must be warm, not hot, not cold. Mary Lou has to be fed "soft and squishy homemade bread. Jack--all he'll
eat is applesauce. One twin wants poached eggs, the other fried. The line-and-color illustrations extend the silly fun as the comfortable house gets more and more cluttered and chaotic. Father is somewhere in the background, but the focus is on Mrs. Peters, nearly always pregnant, trying to play her cello, and increasingly overwhelmed by the appetites of her family. Then the kids surprise her, and themselves, in a gloriously messy climax that allows everyone to eat and Mom to have a life. Hazel Rochman
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