CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 8. . . .October 26, 2012
Viola makes lunch for her little brother Ferdie, but he is preoccupied looking for a missing toy. Viola’s pleas of “come and eat before it gets cold!” and “Just try a few bites” are to no avail. Trying a different tactic, she explains to Ferdie that the broccoli is “actually dinosaur food.” She spins a marvellous tale starring Ferdie as “the top boss of all the dinosaurs” as he traverses dense forests and bravely scales mountains. Back at the table, Ferdie decides he needs to keep his strength up, and he eats three bites of broccoli. When he sneers at the carrots on his plate, Viola tells him they are “Orange Power Sticks”, highly sought after by the “Zyblot aliens”. Ferdie then refuses to eat his ravioli, and Violet launches into a deep sea mystery, but, by this time, she is tired, and her storytelling loses steam: “When he finds the key, he ...”, “When he finds the key, he does NOTHING and I don’t even know what that key is FOR!”. Ferdie asks to be excused, and big sis, exasperated, plops into a chair. Viola’s spirits are lifted when Ferdie surprises her with a creative concoction of his own - a “strawberry, chocolate swirl, caramel explosion surprise cake with extra whipped cream and a cherry on top.”
Cybele Young’s artwork is striking. As in A Few Blocks, the black and white illustrations burst into colourful, detailed scenes. Young’s intricate paper sculptures feature household objects, like lamps, toothbrushes and staircases, cut into exotic dinosaur and fish shapes. The imaginative text and illustrations complement each other.
Picky eaters and readers will find lots to savour in A Few Bites.
Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.
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