The opposite of a picky eater, this little boy can’t decide what food-related costume to make for the school play.
Ms. Mellon’s elementary class excitedly cuts, glues, and paints costumes of their favorite foods for the end-of-school Foodstravaganza. Only Frankie can’t decide. He loves all the foods and advocates, unsuccessfully, for combination dishes such as, “nachos with spring rolls and marzipan on top.” But finally Frankie’s job as the costume manager inspires the perfect costume. With a little bit of everything, Frankie steps onstage for the grand finale as Leftovers! Written in the third person with a heavy reliance on dialogue, the story unfolds at a steady pace. Friendly illustrations, created with painterly strokes of thick gouache with linework in ink, augmented by some colored pencil, depict round-faced, rosy-cheeked children with a variety of hair and skin colors; Frankie himself has brown skin and hair while Ms. Mellon presents white. Food is at the center of this plot-driven picture book. The food costumes are especially clever and cover a broad range of cuisines, from sushi to tortellini, steamed dumplings to flan. Importantly, kids are not matched to foods by ethnicity. Food wordplay accompanies each performance, from the “EGGcellent” breakfast dance to the desserts doing the “MACARON-a.” Although a few puns fail to land (“It’s the FALAFEL of the Opera!”), most are delightful.
A lighthearted picture book for readers hungry for wordplay and lunch.(Picture book. 4-8)