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Summary: Edie got caught stealing a lemon drop, and now she's stuck inside the Slidy Diner. She could use some company, and she's happy to take you on a tour. You can meet the staff: Ethelmae and the waitresses that look pretty (but aren't); watch a few diners (at least the ones that didn't slide out on a grease spill); and get a complete rundown of the menu. Can it really be like this in the Slidy Diner? You won't know until you come in. This is a picture book story with fantasy, fun, and plenty of creative wordplay.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, middle grade reader, independent reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 5 to 10
Age of Child: Shared with a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: "Can we read it again, Mommy?" We read the book three times in succession and lots of times after that. Our daughter would pick up the book just to explore the pictures. She seemed a little bit confused about whether or not this was a dream or really happened. Sometimes she was fine with that, sometimes it frustrated her. But then she'd come back and read it again to decide.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a clever book. It has a Halloween-year-round feel to it, with an ick-factor that parents will relate to in ways kids can't (since we don't usually take them to greasy spoons). Our daughter asked lots of questions the first few times through, and we found ourselves re-reading parts to try to help her make sense of it. The illustrations are fabulous. You'll want to spend time just exploring the pictures, because there is plenty going on that isn't covered in the poem itself.
Pros: Action-packed illustrations and clever wordplay combine in this story about the slice of life that is the Slidy Diner.
Cons: Be prepared to answer the question: if the chocolate milk isn't chocolate, what is it?
Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. If you've got a child who likes Alice in Wonderland type stories, this is an excellent book they can read themselves.
Educational Themes: This is a book for enjoying reading time. This is a great book for exploring wordplay and irony, visually and as prose. The poetry elements add dimension and make this attractive as a book for reluctant or remedial readers.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, fantasy
Date(s) Reviewed: March 2009
Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.