- Fruit Bowl by Mark Hoffmann
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-5247-1991-3 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-5247-1993-7 $10.99
Reviewed from galleys R 4–7 yrs
When the banana, orange, pear, strawberry and their pals huddle into their clubby fruit bowl, they rather uncharitably inform the tomato it can’t come in—it must hang out in the refrigerator crisper with the veggies. Here begins an introductory lesson in the difference between fruits and vegetables, enlightening readers on how both develop on flowering plants, just on different parts. Tomato makes an effective plea for admission, but while the other fruits respond with a chorus of pun-infused sympathy, they’re not convinced. They consult a wizened old grape, living amid dust bunnies in the kitchen corner, who begins with an exegesis on life and finally gets around to an unequivocal declaration that, yup, tomato is a fruit. So, in fact, are several other crisper residents such as the pepper, eggplant, and avocado. The expressive, anthropomorphized produce, with their speech bubble banter, will be a hit in primary science units; just don’t try this when the lesson for the day is social inclusion.