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The Monster Who Ate My Peas


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About the Author

Danny Schnitzlein studied creative writing at Eckerd College and holds a BS degree from the University of Florida. He lives in Georgia. Matt Faulkner has written and illustrated a number of books, including The Black Belt, The Amazing Voyage of Jackie Grace, The Moon Clock, The Twelve Wild Geese, and The Giving Season. He has also illustrated Trick or Treat on Monster Street, The Monster Who Ate My Peas, and Scatter Brain Sam. In addition to writing and illustrating books for children, Faulkner also creates illustrations for national newspapers and magazines.


Gr 1-4-Another yucky food story, this one told in rhyme. And it actually works. The narrator does not want to eat his peas, but risks losing out on dessert. Along comes a food monster that agrees to eat the veggies if the child gives him his soccer ball. That's fine until the dreaded morsels show up again a few days later. The monster drives a hard, Faustian bargain and, naturally, when the stakes become too high, the boy discovers that he likes peas. The rhymes flow, begging to be read aloud. Faulkner has created a truly disgusting monster with hairy feet and icky toenails, covered with slimy vegetables, too big for the page. Children will clamor to hear this one again and again.-Ann Cook, formerly at Winter Park Public Library, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"Arcimboldo meets Mad Magazine as a monster that looks like a cross between an octopus and a compost pile bargains with a young narrator willing to sacrifice his prized soccer ball, and even his new bike, rather than eat peas... there's a Seussian (or Clement Clarke Moore) flavor to the rhymed text... the rollicking rhythms and madcap, over-the-top art give this... [book] plenty of comic energy."
"The rhymes flow, begging to be read aloud. Faulkner has created a truly disgusting monster with hairy feet and icky toenails, covered with slimy vegetables, too big for the page. Children will clamor to hear this one again and again."

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