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EDGAR, ALLEN, AND POE AND THE TELL-TALE BEETS

Author: Natalie Rompella

Illustrator: Francois Ruyer

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Publisher: Lobster Press, ´┐½2009

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mom isn't a very good cook, but if they don't eat their dinner, Edgar, Allan and Poe can't have dessert. So bottoms up for squishy squash, liquidy liver, brussel sprouts and those smelly beets. When Edgar discovered a loose floorboard, the boys launched a plan. Dinner was "gone" and they got great desserts ... until the floor gives way and gives them away. This picture book offers a kid-friendly twist on the famous story about hiding things.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, transitional reader

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 9; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 3.6

Age of Child: Read with a girl nearly 8 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: There were lots of ew-yuks and oh-no's as we read this book! Every time we read this book. My daughter loved the gross-sounding meals, the silly ploys, and, of course, the exploding floor!

Adult Reader Reaction: I'm betting that my daughter will remember this book when it comes time to read Poe's The Tale of the Tell-Tale Heart. This is a really fun book, and the author has everything covered in this tribute-come-spoof of the more famous macabre tale. She did a fabulous job balancing the spreads, with a short sentence on one page and a paragraph or two on the other half. The illustrations are detailed enough to keep kids exploring while you are reading some of the longer pages.

Pros: Humor, colorful illustrations, and a story about gross vegetables are sure to garner multiple reads in this fun book for pre-readers and transitional readers alike.

Cons: If you don't like stories with less-than-model parents, you may not appreciate this story. It is not overdone, but air-headed/dense parents are a mainstay, and if you're looking for a change, now is not the time to pick this book.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is fun to read. With liquid beets flying everywhere, the kids will definitely want to read it more than once.

If You Liked This Book, Try: I ONLY LIKE WHAT I LIKE   N IS FOR NOSTRIL ... AND OTHER ALPHABET SILLINESS   ARE YOU A HORSE?

Educational Themes: This is a story that's meant to be shared for fun. It might be fun to read it as a complement to Poe's original ... but only with older readers ... to show them what a literary spoof is.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book to the Reading Tub, Inc. This is an unsolicited donation.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, humor, food

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2009

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