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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Creepy Carrots, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown. Simon & Schuster, 2012. $19.99 ages 4 and up

"He first noticed something strange after the big games against the East Valley Hares. Jasper was about to help himself to a victory snack...when he heard it. The soft...sinister...tunktunktunk of carrots creeping. He turned...and there was nothing there. "Just my imagination," he thought. But he hopped a little faster."

I swoon every time I read Peter Brown's name on the cover of a book...I know it's going to be a winner. Right, again!

Lots of kids don't like vegetables much, and I am not sure that this book will help to solve that problem...especially in terms of carrots. Jasper Rabbit loves them, and he eats them every chance he gets. The very best came from Crackenhopper Field and Jasper loves to stop there morning, evening and even late at night. There is no limit to the carrots he can eat!

Then one evening, he thinks he hears an unfamiliar sound. He thinks he feels someone or something  following his every move.  Every eerie feeling leads him to look closely at his surroundings; nothing out of the ordinary. Every word and phrase is well-chosen to give readers a sense of doom, and then Peter Brown (as he is wont to do) creates artwork that gives gray and gloomy life to the discomfort Jasper is experiencing. Jasper begins to see carrots where there aren't any, and Peter Brown uses the color orange to dispute his every concern. Is he imagining all of it, or what?

I love surprise endings, and you are sure to love this one, too.

This is a full-of-fun story for now, and would make a great readaloud at Halloween. Great pacing for this terrific tale and the Peter Brown streak continues...keep them coming and I will keep checking them out.

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