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Reviewed by:
  • Are You Eating Candy Without Me? by Draga Jenny Malesevic
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor

Malesevic, Draga Jenny Are You Eating Candy Without Me?; illus. by Charlotte Bruijn. Penguin Workshop, 2020 [32p] Trade ed. ISBN 9781524792015 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9781524792022 $10.99 Reviewed from digital galleys R 4-7 yrs

Most children have wondered it at some point: what on earth do grownups do when they're not around? "Do all the rules still apply when I'm not home?" ask the kid narrators of this inquisitive picture book. Are adults really eating their veggies, and being kind, and staying focused—or are they partying with cake and ice cream, climbing every tree, jumping on trampolines, and, most importantly, eating candy without any youngsters to claim a share? The book eventually lands on the very kid-centric premise that adults spend most of their time worrying about the little ones in their lives, but there's a whole lot of playful absurdity (and maybe a bit of kid and adult wishful thinking) that precedes it. The digital art recalls LeUyen Pham's work in its energetic movement and saturated tones; the palette is, surprise, rife with candy-colored hues, but Bruijn softens and varies the colors, keeping the contrasts gentle. The book becomes particularly funny when it tips into full fantasy, wondering if Mom and Dad are swimming in chocolate fountains or if an elderly caretaker is swinging on vines made of licorice. Grownups might give a few sheepish smiles, while kids will giggle and, with the oodles of sweets offered up, ask for a sugary snack of their own. [End Page 484]



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