Friday, June 21, 2013

Picturebook Review: Creepy Carrots!

Creepy Carrots!
Words by Aaron Reynolds
Pictures by Peter Brown
Published by Simon & Schuster, 2012
Illustrations are in pencil and paper, then digitally composited and colored

Goodreads Description:
The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch in this clever picture book parable about a rabbit who fears his favorite treats are out to get him. Jasper Rabbit loves carrots - especially Crackenhopper Field carrots. 

He eats them on the way to school. 
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.

Until the day the carrots start following him...or are they?

Celebrated artist Peter Brown's stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold's text in this hilarious eBook with audio that shows it's all fun and games... until you get too greedy. 

My Review:
Perusing the aisles at the Scholastic Book Fair, my eyes landed on this book and I knew I had to have it. 
The story is about a child rabbit who stops by the same carrot patch too often in order to eat the best carrots. But how do you think the carrots feel about that? Little Jasper didn't take any time to consider the effects of his over-consumption until one day, the carrots give him a scare of a lifetime... or so it seems. 

From beginning to end, these silky pages are sketched in all black and white, except for very bold orange highlights. Orange and black remind me of Halloween, but this book isn't geared for any holiday. It's just a fun book about a carrots revenge. 

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was suspenseful, yet the images didn't make it too scary. Also, with a touch of humor, the book came together nicely. I especially love the spread that features Jasper in a trance of fear, bright carrots forming around him and shadows all across is body. On the following page, when Jasper gets an idea (complete with lightbulb above the head), the scene becomes perfectly normal, Romantic even. Beautiful!

The whole story plays out in what seems like framed vignettes, or like scenes from an old film. It was a lot of fun to read and I think that black and white illustration was a bold, yet wise choice by the author. Especially considering the readers of this book; children could easily be offset by a bland image, but the images in this book are broken down to individual frames, many with the hint of orange in them if not major highlights of orange to offset the scene. 

While this was a fun read, suspense and humor in one, it wasn't quite as awed by it as I'd thought I'd be. The plot and illustrations were unique as well as entertaining, but I wasn't left with any great, compelling feelings after finishing it. A paranoid rabbit and some carrots that don't like to be eaten makes a fun story, but in the end, what was the point? I'm not saying some books can't just be written for fun, but something about this book is seriously twisted. Should Jasper not eat carrots then? what should he eat instead? Many validate the story's happy ending, but truly I'm not certain it has one. Not that its a bad ending, just that one should be wary how they interpret it. 

I give this a three out of five foxes. 

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