As promised, one more gratuitous pic of a fabulous sculpture in THE LAST BOOKSTORE:
Apparently, one reader got lost in the Horror Vault and mummified so they strapped her to the wall as a warning to others….I think she looks like an angel.
You can see more pics of THE LAST BOOKSTORE in last week’s post. Now, for another book I found within the store’s Children’s Picture Book section:
What?! China Miéville, the British author known for his adult “British urban fantasy fiction” wrote a picture book?! That cover does look like a breakfast nightmare, yes?
The absurd food wordplay in this book will tickle the funny bones of picky eaters or the gross-me-out-til-we’re-all-giggling types (most kids). Sometimes those two circles of the Venn diagram overlap, right? I’m thinking that the author MUST be the father of a picky eater, because the last full page spread will hit home with exasperated parents.
But first, the opening:
Apparently, Little Sis needs a reminder….
So Big Sis goes on a reminder rampage. About underdone eggs, porridge that resembles “GUNK scraped off the hulls of boats,” catastrophic sausages, unbaked beans, slimy red tomatoes (a page with a nod to rhyme critics), black pudding, bacon that tastes like a deep-fried shoe….
You get the picture. And at the height of grossness, the reader is confronted with a wall of text, wordplay and imagery that Lewis Carroll would have enjoyed. I’m not going to show it to you. You’ll have to find this book and read it for yourselves. But Little Sis still doesn’t remember.
Not until Big Sis describes the absolutely most grotesque breakfast disaster of all—
“The orange juice was FULL OF BITS.”
Bingo! Little Sis remembers!
“THAT WAS THE WORST BREAKFAST EVER!”
.Little Sis is about to lose it….until Big Sis saves the day with the tea strainer. And they decide that this may not be the best breakfast…
Zak Smith’s bold, surreal illustrations, a mix of creatures, bugs, and grotesque food bits, are mesmerizing. I keep finding all kinds of strange things in them. Kids who love art and all things disgusting, should have this picture book on their shelves. I think The Worst Breakfast would also make for a fabulous classroom read aloud.
- Draw pictures or make collages of the worst and best meals you’ve ever had, using crayons, markers, and cutouts from magazines or newspapers. Talk about how they’re different.
- Tips for parents of picky eaters
- See how many dragon-like creatures, fish, bugs, bug eyes, and other bizarre things you can find in the pictures. CHALLENGE: See if you can draw a picture that makes a creature look like part of something else in the picture, just like the paintings in this book.
Title: The Worst Breakfast
Author: China Miéville
Illustrator: Zak Smith
Publisher: Akashic Books, 2016
Age Range: K-5th
Themes: silliness, gross-outs, picky eaters
For those looking for more perfect picture book recommendations, check out Susanna Hill’s website.