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Wishing the Peas Would Disappear

  • Oct 15, 2012
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"Eat your peas," said my mom, "or you won't get dessert."
I said, "Before peas, I would rather eat dirt!"
"I know you don't want to", she said with a glare,
"But until they get eaten, you'll stay in your chair." - From the book (softcover, 30 pages)

Ah, childhood food aversions. Brussels sprouts, broccoli, mashed potatoes, liver--most kids have one (or ten) foods that they dread.

In The Monster Who Ate My Pease, written by Danny Schnitzlein and illustrated by Matt Faulkner, a little boy wishes that the peas on his plate would disappear...and a monster suddenly appears to take care of that.

This grotesque creature largely made up of hated foods (A squash nose! Spinach beard!), happily slurps up the peas...but he exacts a price.

The first time, he demands a new soccer ball. The second time, a new bike.

So what happens when the monster demands the child's puppy in exchange for the eaten peas?

Well, you'll have to read The Monster Who Ate My Peas to find out! Let's just say the little boy's love for his dog prods him to make a surprising discovery.

Illustrated in muted, muddy earth tones, this fanciful, award-winning book features clever rhyming prose and emotion-laden imagery. It's a great book for encouraging kids to try new foods.

My only problem with it is the beginning: I've always disagreed with the notion of forcing kids to "clean their plate" by eating foods that make them gag. TRYING a food at least once, yes. But not attempting to force them with threats.

However, the ending of The Monster Who Ate My Peas may very well help a child re-think swearing off reviled foods without trying them...but creating a monster made UP of hated foods might reinforce the notion that certain foods are to be feared or avoided.

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About the reviewer
Janet Boyer ()
Ranked #195
Author of The Back in Time Tarot BookandTarot in Reverse. Co-creator of theSnowlandDeck. Amazon.com Hall ofFame/ VineReviewer; Freelance Writer/Reviewer; Blogger; Professional Tarot Reader/Teacher; Lover … more
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Although couched in bombastic rhyme and grotesque illustrations, Schnitzlein's debut simply rehashes a truism: kids will do anything to avoid eating their greens. In "Night Before Christmas" verse, the boy narrator describes three encounters with a garbage beast, whose "big bloated body was broccoli-green,/ And his breath, when he sneered, reeked of rotten sardines." When the hulking creature proposes to devour the boy's peas in exchange for a soccer ball, the boy accepts. He haggles with the monster at subsequent mealtimes, but when it tries to take his dog, he desperately gulps a pea and has a Green Eggs and Ham epiphany: "That pea didn't taste like I thought that it would./ I had to admit it. That pea tasted good!" Faulkner's (The Moon Clock) fearsome illustrations recall David Catrow's hyperbolic paintings; the bloated monster, which has purple-gray tentacles and an eggplant nose, emerges from the trash and lurks under tables. Yet suspense is controlled by the clockwork verse, which steadily advances toward the boy's revelation and the banishment of the devilish tempter. For an original approach to yucky vegetables, Yaccarino and McCauley's The Lima Bean Monster (Children's Forecasts, July 30) makes a better choice. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to theHardcoveredition.
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