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Reviewed by:
  • Avocado Asks by MoMoko Abe
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor

Abe, Momoko Avocado Asks. Doubleday, 2021 [32p] Trade ed. ISBN 9780593177938 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 9780593177945 $10.99 Reviewed from digital galleys R 4-7 yrs

Avocado is perfectly content hanging out in the produce section until a precocious young shopper asks whether they're a fruit or a vegetable, throwing poor Avocado into a spiraling existential crisis. Avocado's question "What am I?" earns derision from the fruit, scorn from the vegetables, and sound rejection from the fish, the cheese, and the eggs. As Avocado continues to wander the store aisles looking for a place to belong, Tomato shows up, proudly defying labels: "I'm a fruit, but no one believes me. And I. Don't. Care." Expounding upon the awesomeness that Avocado adds to just about anything (Toast! Salads! Guacamole!), Tomato urges Avocado to embrace just being Avocado. A smorgasbord of food puns makes this whimsical romp through the grocery store a true treat, and while this clearly falls into the time-honored picture book theme of "we're all unique," the book's lack of pronouns and Avocado's search to find an identity within established grocery norms could serve as a gentle introduction to gender variance. The digital art has a retro flair with sleek geometry and muted tones recalling Savage's Where's Walrus? (BCCB 2/11), and hawkeyed viewers will spot teeny, round Tomato bouncing behind Avocado throughout the pages. Pair this with Underwood's Ogilvy (BCCB 5/19) for a celebration of nonconformity (of produce or otherwise), or simply bring it out for any food-themed storytime. [End Page 158]



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