Tales for Very Picky Eaters (review)
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Reviewed by
Schneider, Josh. Tales for Very Picky Eaters; written and illus. by Josh Schneider. Clarion, 2011. 48p. ISBN 978-0-547-14956-1 $14.99 Ad Gr. 2-4.

The father in this compact early reader is a clever strategist indeed. When young James declares that broccoli is disgusting, Dad spins yarns about far more disgusting options; when James refuses lasagna, Dad warns him about the ire of the spurned troll chef; and so on until James finally creates a slew of his own outlandish scenarios, only to have his father tell him he should try eggs simply because "you might like them." There's not really any plot to any of the five stories, just the initial refusal followed by Dad's creative means of persuading James to give it a go, which gets a bit repetitive. There is a fair dose of gross appeal, however, and while Dad's alternative descriptions are a mixed bag (some are funny, some kind of lame), there is inherent humor in his witty efforts to win the table wars. Schneider's mixed-media compositions offer plenty of visual clues for early chapter-book readers. The imagined scenarios, depicting everything from a troll covered in gnawing rats to a lump of oatmeal that has come to life, are more successful than the moments of realism, which tend to be stiff and somewhat lifeless. While this may get some action as a readaloud, it is far more geared towards reluctant readers with a penchant for the disgusting. [End Page 538]