Monday, June 22, 2009
Review #33: How Are You Peeling
Dad: It's time for "How Are You Peeling..."
Gracie (age 8): "...Foods With Moods."
Dad: And the guys who made this book have great names: Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers.
Isaac (age 10): It sounds like a "Juice" guy.
Dad: What is the interesting thing about this book? How is this different from other books?
Gracie: This book is about a whole bunch of different moods.
Isaac: And vegetables and fruits!
Gracie: A "mood" is how you are feeling -- if you are feeling happy or feeling sad. And this whole book is told with food, because the guy that does the pictures goes to the store, buys a bunch of food, and carves in faces.
Lily (age 6): He puts eyes on the food, and sometimes he carves mouths and noses. Actually, I bet he doesn't carve the noses. Then he takes pictures of them.
Gracie: But sometimes he doesn't carve the food at all. Sometimes the faces are already there!
Isaac: Mostly he tries to find weird looking fruits. Like this one... he really found an apple that looked like that.
Gracie: It's an apple with a big hole in it, and the guy didn't carve it.
Lily: He actually found that real dent in an apple. He was like, "Oh, that could be good -- I'm going to use it for my character!"
Dad: And that's probably an apple most people would have skipped over. Most people would say, "Eww... I don't want that apple..." But he saw it and thought, "That's my book, baby! I take all the weirdies!"
Kids: Ha ha ha ha ha!
Isaac: Woah! Look at that one! It's a weirdie!
Dad: Putting faces on food isn't a completely new idea. Can you think of a food that everybody already carves?
...pause followed by laughter
Dad: Who carves tomatoes?!
Gracie: Pumpkins! Pumpkins!!
Dad: There you go. Winner! We have a winner!
Lily: People carve pumpkins for Halloween.
Dad: But these guys thought, "Why not oranges?"
Gracie: Why not strawberries?
Lily: There's no pumpkins in this book at all.
Isaac: They'd probably get a weirdie pumpkin or turn the stem into a nose.
Dad: So when you illustrate a book, do you have to use pencils or paints?
Isaac: No, you can take photographs.
Gracie: You can do it with food!
Isaac: I did something like this once! I used Gracie and Lily's dollhouse set, and I took my camera, and I zoomed in so that it looked like a real room, and I took a picture of it. Then I stuck a banana in the dollhouse, and I zoomed in the same way, and took another picture, and it made it look like a giant banana appeared in the room.
Dad: Can you describe some of the pictures in this book?
Isaac: Sometimes they have to combine three foods. The turtle has a seed for the eye, a pepper for the head, and a melon for the shell.
Gracie: I like the little radish guys. There are these tiny, itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, little radishes. And there's this giant yellow melon or something...
Gracie: ...this giant yellow squash, and the radishes are freaking him out. And the squash is, like, eleven times their size...
Isaac: Nine times.
Gracie: ...nine times their size. The radish is this teeny-tiny guy with an open mouth, screaming at the squash. And the radish has a pointy stick nose. Some of the other radishes have curvy noses... I love them!
Isaac: Here's another one of those weirdies.
Dad: Yeah, they hardly did anything to that pepper. All they did was add eyes. The natural folds make all the expression.
Isaac: He was a weirdie.
Gracie: He looks like one of those bulldogs.
Isaac: There are tons of weirdies on this page!
Dad: That one looks like baby Evie.
Isaac: Oh, for the love...
Lily: Look at tha-ha-ha-hat!
Isaac: He has weird teeth. He looks evil.
Dad: Who? The orange?
Gracie: Do you think the guys that make the book eat the food afterward?
Isaac: "Hello, I'm going to eat you, big teeth guy."
Lily: I like this one - he's cute. He's a lemon. He doesn't have freaky teeth. I like the ones that don't have freaky teeth. But this one is sad. He's feeling very sad.
Dad: You like the sad ones?
Lily: No. I like the ones that don't have freaky teeth. I like to eat lemons too. They are sour and good! But I haven't had one for ages.
Isaac: I saw in a magazine how he makes these pictures. That would be fun to do. For this review, we could go to the grocery store...
Dad: That IS what we're going to do.
Isaac: It is!?!
Isaac: I want to find a piece of food, a vegetable, that looks weird. I want to get a weirdie vegetable.
Gracie: I am going to find the weirdie-est one of all!
Lily: Me too! I'm going to find the second weirdie-est one of all.
Gracie: I want to eeeeeeeat something.
Dad: Did that book make you hungry?
Gracie: Now I want to eat a kiwi. I want to eat that kiwi. The one that's going, "Aaaaaghhhhh!"
I have to say, the whole process of shopping for these foods and bringing them to life was a blast! Here's one last group shot:
The kids also had fun eating them when we were all done. Here are some funny picts I got when little brother Elijah started digging in:
Creators: Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers
Published, 1999: Arthur A. Levine Books
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