Badger's Fancy Meal

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Badger just can't face eating the same old apples, worms, and roots. They're too boring! He dreams of eating something new and fancy. Badger gets some yummy ideas from seeing the animals who live near his den, but the main ingredients he tries to catch aren't so eager to become his lunch. And in the end, they unwittingly convince Badger that he should have appreciated what he had in the first place.

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Badger just can't face eating the same old apples, worms, and roots. They're too boring! He dreams of eating something new and fancy. Badger gets some yummy ideas from seeing the animals who live near his den, but the main ingredients he tries to catch aren't so eager to become his lunch. And in the end, they unwittingly convince Badger that he should have appreciated what he had in the first place.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Badger is tired of the same old food in his den. But when he sets out to catch something fancy, like a mole for a taco with salsa, he finds the mole to be too slippery a target. His attempt at a rat burger is also frustrated, as is that for a rabbit banana split. Each time, his quarry finds “a perfect place to hide.” Furious and hungry, Badger screams that he could eat a horse, but a nearby horse just kicks him up and away back into his own den. There, to his surprise, he finds his food gone and, in its place, a thank-you note from mole, rat, and rabbit. For as we have seen in peel-away pages in the illustrations, the “perfect place” they found to hide has been his den. The visual humor requires Badger to be omnivorous. Kasza uses multiple naturalistic gouache images to portray the sequence of events. The main part of the double pages shows him stalking the small animals. In the corner, we see his tasty dish wish. But it is on the other corner as the page curls that we can spot the escaping prey going into his den for their vegetarian treats. Justice triumphs. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2
Hapless Badger is no longer satisfied with his usual meal of apples, worms, and root vegetables, so he leaves his den (after a little whining) in search of a "fancy meal." In this sequential narrative, he nearly captures a mole, a rat, and a rabbit but, as fate would have it, they slip from his grasp. As Badger imagines a mole taco, a cheese-covered rat burger, and a rabbit banana split, he declares, "Now, that's what I call a fancy meal." Both pace and pitch are perfect: as Badger chases after another missed meal, the one he's just lost escapes down a hole that-you guessed it-happens to be his den. Children are allowed a sneak peek behind the scenes via a corner illustration of a faux folded-back page, displaying those that "got away," as they share a feast. And, of course, children won't miss the irony. When the happy animals depart, they leave a paw-signed thank-you note to their unknown host. The gouache illustrations are colorful and full of humorous expression. The story is excellent for reflection, explication, and retelling, not to mention the teaching of maxims and irony. Another bold, bright, and funny read-aloud to add to Kasza's canon.
—Teresa PfeiferCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Badger can't look another offering from storage bin or root cellar in the eye, let alone stomach the worms that crawl all over them. Said eye turns, as the eyes of badgers do, on his neighbors. Kasza knows his Badger-that baby face hides a grizzled personality, long of tooth and claw, beholden to none, disposed like a jumped rhino-and that he would be happy to turn a mouse into a taco, or a rat into a cheeseburger, or a rabbit into-why not?-a banana split. But each makes a fast getaway, zipping down the same convenient hole in the ground. In a clever design, as Badger loses his grip on his victim, the page looks as though it's peeling back to show how each lands in Badger's burrow. Badger meets his match in Horse, who kicks him all the way home, from which Mouse, Rat and Rabbit have just departed, after reducing Badger's larder to zero. They did, however, leave a thank-you note for the "fancy meal." A quick, comic yet enjoyably unexpurgated story about just deserts. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399246036
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 510,454
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD480L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.84 (w) x 10.46 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Keiko Kasza

Keiko Kasza was born on a small Japanese island in the Inland Sea of Japan. She grew up in a typical Japanese extended family with her parents, two brothers, and grandparents. Uncles, aunts, and cousins also lived nearby. "All the steps I took growing up were very normal," Ms. Kasza says. "The only unusual thing I did was go to college in the United States." She graduated with a degree in graphic design from California State University at Northridge. Ms. Kasza married an American, and the United States has been her home ever since.

After publishing five children's books in Japan and working as a graphic designer for fourteen years, Ms. Kasza decided in 1988 to devote her time to picture books. She says, "Having two small boys and two professions was too much to handle."

Ms. Kasza admires many great picture-book creators, such as Leo Lionni and Maurice Sendak, but says that the work of Arnold Lobel has influenced her the most. The subtle humor and warmth he created in his books continues to inspire me," she says. "I often go back to his work when I get discouraged or lose confidence."

Ms. Kasza compares the process of making a book to acting on stage under the lights:
"I become the character that I'm working on at that moment. I pretend that I'm a bird looking for a mother, or a pig trying to impress his girlfriend. When I'm acting, I'm a child myself."

Ms. Kasza's ambition is not to create a hundred books, but to "create one really good book that will be kept on the family bookshelves for generations, although a hundred really good books would be even better, of course!"

Keiko Kasza lives in Indiana with her husband and two sons.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Customer Reviews

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