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Eat Your Peas


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What will it take to get Daisy to eat her peas? Mom starts out with a bribe of ice cream. But even when she cumulatively ups the ante to an inducement that includes never having to go to school again and the purchase of 92 chocolate factories (each clearly delineated in the illustrations), Daisy is unyielding. What the girl really wants is tit-for-tat: "I'll eat my peas if you eat your brussels sprouts," she tells Mom, whose lip promptly begins to quiver at the prospect. A few pages later, daughter and mom are enjoying bowls of ice cream, but it's unclear whether both bit the bullet, nutritionally speaking, or whether they dispensed with veggies and opted for immediate gratification. That nagging ambiguity aside, the book may well tickle funny bones (even if kids may question why Daisy wouldn't trade a few veggies for the bounty her mother offers), thanks not only to debut author Gray's escalating silliness, but also Sharratt's (The Animal Orchestra) signature bold graphics. Daisy, with her perfectly round face, determined, beady eyes and severe Joan of Arc coif, is a veritable icon of juvenile intransigence. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

PreS-K-An engaging if familiar premise fails to please in this one-joke picture book. When Daisy refuses to eat her peas, her mother tries to bribe her. She starts with a conventional ploy-eat your veggies, get dessert. Daisy digs in her heels and Mom's blandishments quickly balloon into the absurd. Daisy won't have to wash, go to bed, or attend school ever again, if only she complies. Her mother will buy her "-every-bike shop in the world, seventeen swimming pools-Africa-the earth, the moon, the stars, the sun-." As the desperate woman speaks, small pictures of the items she offers appear upon the pages, cluttering them, and making the text difficult to read. Still, Daisy stands firm. Finally, she offers a bargain: she will eat peas if her mother eats brussels sprouts. "`But I don't like brussels sprouts,' said Mom." Children may enjoy this turnabout, but it's unlikely that the story that leads up to it will hold their interest. The illustrations are brightly colored and feature occasional touches of humor, but they are generally static. Daisy's expression remains the same until the climax though the pictures of her grow larger. Chris Demarest's No Peas for Nellie (Macmillan, 1988; o.p.) is just one example of a more appealing battle of the wills.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, PA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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