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Burger and the Hot Dog
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Burger and the Hot Dog

by Jim Aylesworth, Stephen Gammell (Illustrator)

A burger and a hot dog
One day had a nasty spat.
The burger got insulted
'Cause the hot dog called him flat...

So what happened after that? Well, you'll have to look inside this book to find out. Because, you see, there is a whole world out there in which burgers, hot dogs, sticky buns, ice-cream bars, bologna, popcorn, and all sorts of


A burger and a hot dog
One day had a nasty spat.
The burger got insulted
'Cause the hot dog called him flat...

So what happened after that? Well, you'll have to look inside this book to find out. Because, you see, there is a whole world out there in which burgers, hot dogs, sticky buns, ice-cream bars, bologna, popcorn, and all sorts of other food folks exist together and do and go through all the daily stuff we all do. But it's only folks like Jim Aylesworth, together with artist Stephen Gammell, who can bring to us that world in a collection of hilarious rhymes and pictures. After all, what happens when a bunch of sugar cookies give a bagel a hard time, or an ice-cream bar gets stranded on a beach, or a couple of pickles go out dancing?...Well, come on in and see! And when you're done, try to invent some food folks of your own.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Zany food rhymes and humorous portraits of bagels and bananas are the special of the day in this new collaboration from Aylesworth and Gammell (previously teamed for Old Black Fly). The 23 catchy verses feature personality-packed edible stars, dilemmas that turn on the food's trademark characteristics and loads of goofy puns. " `You're pretty!' said an orange/ To a lemon who seemed pleased./ `In fact, my dear, so pretty,/ You're at risk of getting squeezed!' " Gammell's fruits and vegetables resemble the California Raisins (to whom the book is dedicated), with tiny arms and legs and squished-together facial features particularly well-suited for registering surprise. He has even more fun rendering the personal crises of his subjects, painting rowdy cookies who disintegrate when they attack a bagel and gooey sticky cinnamon buns who cannot enjoy even the simplest pleasures of social interaction: " `We can't shake hands!' `No, never!'/ `Simple hugs just can't be done!'/ `And should we bump together,/ Oh, my, no, that's never fun!' " The chunky blocks of text share center stage with the smoothly paced images, enhancing the book's visual punch; brushstroked poem titles seem to drip along with the ketchup and mustard. Youngsters will enjoy finding out what the denizens of your neighborhood diner do after the waitresses turn out the lights and go home for the night. Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Poetry for children is often so dull and uninspiring it is not actively read. This work of poetry is about a subject matter everyone enjoys in some form or other—food. Aylesworth keeps the readers attention with silly food rhymes using beets, ice cream, pizza, cookies, bagels and as the title suggests, hot dogs and hamburgers. Equally attractive are the illustrations of realistic edibles with surrealistic expressions in unrealistic situations. Pizzas trying on shoes. Dancing pickles. Romantic cheese. A vegetable country western band. Cleverly conveyed antics on each page invite readers to find something new at each reading. The final page is an open invitation to create a food poem and provides room for just such a challenge, (Remember not to write in a library book.) While the illustrations are produced from typical media, one unique item is included here—coffee. Perhaps that is the ingredient that adds flavor to this work. "My mother loves her coffee/Not too sweet and not too tart./She says it keeps her going./But not as a work of art!" 2001, Atheneum Books For Young Readers, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young
School Library Journal
Gr 2 Up-An uneven collection of humorous poems featuring foods such as a lemon so pretty she is in danger of getting squeezed, and a shy hard-boiled egg named Betty who is having difficulty coming out of her shell. Lines like "Two pickles went out dancing:/She a gherkin, he a dill" resound with a cadence reminiscent of Jack Prelutsky, but many others are awkwardly constructed. Take the case of an angel cake in Kansas who calls up her boyfriend, "`Come take me out to dinner,'/Is, in short, just what she said." There is some clever wordplay-the slogan of a band comprised of vegetables is: "The Band with a Beet," but a punch line relying on a reference to wax bananas will go over the heads of the intended audience. The exaggerated heads and distorted bodies give a Mr. Potatohead look to the food caricatures. The colored-pencil, watercolor, and pastel illustrations are effective in depicting various dripping and melting dishes, but the scatter-paint effect lends a frenetic feel to the art. This book may elicit chuckles and inspire some creative-writing efforts, but classic collections, such as William Cole's Poem Stew (Lippincott, 1981), contain better poetry.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Kids who devour poems by Silverstein and Prelutsky will sink their teeth into this collection of poetry featuring a banquet of fanciful food characters. There's a teacher named Frankie Fish Stick, pungent cheeses named Woodrow and Wanda, and a couple of eager eggs named Yack and Yimmy (two very "yolly guys," who are-naturally-full of funny "yolks"). Aylesworth (The Tale of Tricky Fox, 2001, etc.) includes lots of favorite foods in his 23 rhyming poems: pizza, bagels, cake, pickles, even chewing gum. Several poems convey subtle lessons about behavior, as in "Nellie and Bill," the story of a sweet pickle who is a more pleasant friend than her sourpuss dill pickle companion. Some poems are pure dessert, as in "Veggie Soup," the story of a country/western band with Bo Beet on fiddle and Tex Tater on guitar, or the title poem, which has a soda breaking up a fight and threatening to kick the participants in the buns. Creative teachers will find lots of ways to integrate these poems into the classroom, especially to liven up lessons on nutrition and the food pyramid. The final poem, "Up to You," encourages young readers to write their own poems about "food folks." Caldecott Medalist Gammell (Ride, p. 258, etc.) has cooked up a batch of humorous, mixed-media illustrations in a loose, washy style, using coffee for the brown tones for additional thematic flavor. (Poetry. 5-9)

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1 ED
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Stephen Gammell is the beloved illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman, which received the Caldecott Medal, and two Caldecott Honor Books: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, and The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate Our School by Judy Sierra. Mr. Gammell lives with his wife, Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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