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Monday, August 1, 2016

Too Many Tomatoes, written by Eric Ode and illustrated by Kent Culotta. Kane Miller, Publishers Group Canada. 2016. $17.95 ages 3 and up

"Down to the sidewalk,
and down to the street,
drippy and slippery,
juicy and sweet.

Red ones and yellow ones,
shiny and round,
jumbling, tumbling
over the ground."

It's pretty exciting! This morning when I went out to water the three tomato plants I have on my patio, there are two ripe ones. I am going to leave them there until Sicily gets here. She is almost 2, and loves to pick tomatoes ... and eat them. They are the yellow cherry kind. I wonder if you can ever have too many tomatoes. It's such a short season here, I will enjoy them every day for as long as I have them.

In this story, kids get a close look at the garden through the eyes of a young boy and his grandparents. He's there to help and it's hard to believe just how many tomatoes are hanging from every plant. How is it possible that one packet of seeds could produce such bounty? Seems that not one seed was wasted.

Now, they have tomatoes to share at every turn ... with friends, neighbors, strangers:

"One for the teacher,
and one for the tailor.
One for the scientist.
One for the sailor.
One for the painter,
and one for the plumber.
One for the dancer,
and one for the drummer."

It doesn't end there. Lucky recipients of such deliciousness! It makes my mouth water for some of my own.

The family does remember to keep some for themselves. The story's rhyme adds to the fun, and the zippy feeling that people get when sharing with others, and from growing their own food. Kent Culotta matches the buoyant tone with his colorful illustrations and happy expressive faces. If you love tomatoes, you will want to share this book at home or at school. It's fun to read out loud!

Too many tomatoes??? NEVAH!

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