________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 6 . . . . October 9, 2009

cover

The Little Green Pea.

Alison Barber. Illustrated by Paige Keiser.
Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2009.
24 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-58536-448-0.

Subject Headings:
Peas-Fiction.
Worms-Fiction.
Hope-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 3-7.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*½ /4

excerpt:

In a field among fields, off Interstate 3, in a patch past the peppers, in row fifty-three, grew one, little green pea.

But this is no ordinary pea.

 

In this odd story, a little green pea dreams of becoming a tree. The other peas planted in row fifty-three mock his aspirations. Undeterred, he soaks up the sunlight and drinks up the rain and grows "an inch or two." When a farmer comes along and starts picking the vegetables, the "little (not so wee) green pea" thinks he is on his way to becoming a tree. When he ends up in a rusty bucket along with his podmates, he realizes he is fated to become part of a tuna casserole. Mustering his courage, he jumps to the floor and rolls away. Just when you think things can't get any worse for the little pea, the worm who is narrating the story reveals "And then I ate him up!"

internal art

     Wiggling back to his mud pile, the worm explains, "[A] pea is a seed and wherever they're spat, they mix and they mingle with this and with that / We worms do the mixing / We especially like poo." The final page shows the results of this composting: a tall tree wearing the little green pea's red bow tie.

     Paige Keiser's green-washed watercolour illustrations depict the personable little legume with three hairs on his head and sporting his signature red accessory. Attentive readers will notice the bespectacled worm making an early appearance at the bottom of the pages, licking his lips in anticipation.

     Although the illustrations are comical, the rhyming verse is at times strained. The strange ending may also leave children wondering if peas really can grow into trees.

Not recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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