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Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast

Overview

Wild Man Jack isn't easy to please. Especially when Mama Jane serves him the one dish that he detests. Each day his children ask what he'll do if it arrives at the table, and each day he comes up with an even more colorful response. Not until Friday do things get really out of hand.

Philip Christian Stead's call and response text and intricate collage art bring food and phobia to an entirely new level of hilarity in this sensational book for ...

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Overview

Wild Man Jack isn't easy to please. Especially when Mama Jane serves him the one dish that he detests. Each day his children ask what he'll do if it arrives at the table, and each day he comes up with an even more colorful response. Not until Friday do things get really out of hand.

Philip Christian Stead's call and response text and intricate collage art bring food and phobia to an entirely new level of hilarity in this sensational book for reading aloud.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Its wry humor and illustrations worthy of a Roald Dahl creation make it worth a close look.” —School Library Journal

“This homage to Americana finds success looking backward, proudly reclaiming the rhythms of old stories and craftsmanship not so common in the digital age.” —Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—In this quirky tale, the rhyme and rhythm appear and disappear—for no apparent reason. When the meter is in use, it's rickety. The story has no redeeming message or widespread appeal. So it's puzzling that it is weirdly appealing. Papa, aka Wild Man Jack, hates Hates HATES—you guessed it—creamed tuna fish and peas on toast. Each day, his children take turns asking, "What will you do if Mama Jane cooks creamed tuna fish and peas on toast?" And each time he has a different answer: "I'll scream and complain 'cause I hate it the most." "I'll brandish my spoon 'cause I hate it the most." When Mama Jane serves her husband the detested dish, Wild Man Jack then reacts in all the ways he's threatened to, culminating in a funeral service—for the tuna fish. The charm is mainly in the pictures. They're multicolored, multilayered collages/paintings/ink drawings. Gorgeous blotches of color coat faint collage stamps, forms, dollar bills, musical notes and numbers from ads, and newspaper articles. Shapes of people, animals, and scenery are summoned from this background with squiggly ink lines. Many of the collage pieces are humorous selections; for instance, on the final page, the birds that have served as witnesses to the story are pictured above a text that begins, "The Story of the Birds." This tale isn't for everyone, but its wry humor and illustrations worthy of a Roald Dahl creation make it worth a close look.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Wild Man Jack hates one dish the most, and who can blame him? Creamed tuna fish with peas on toast would turn anyone's stomach. Wild Man Jack's children approach him one by one, asking what he'll do if Mama Jane makes it, and he vows to "wheeze," "sneeze" and even "brandish a spoon." Stead conjures early-20th-century America in his language, characters and illustrations. Wild Man Jack, a lean, flinty Woody Guthrie-looking character, seems straight out of the Dust Bowl. Children will savor his venomous rants, as they don't see many adults misbehaving in picture books these days. They will also enjoy spying old newspaper clippings, music scores and letters hiding behind layers of paint and ink drawings. The collages cohere into a sunny patchwork of art and history. He integrates the past into every facet of his storytelling, even hand lettering each word with salvaged rubber letterpress sets. This homage to Americana finds success looking backward, proudly reclaiming the rhythms of old stories and craftsmanship not so common in the digital age. (Picture book. 3-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596434011
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 430,544
  • Age range: 2 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip C. Stead is the author of the Caldecott Medal winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee, also named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2010 and a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of 2010, illustrated by his wife, Erin E. Stead (A Neal Porter Book, Roaring Brook Press, 2010).  Philip, also an artist, both wrote and illustrated his debut Creamed Tuna Fish and Peas on Toast (Roaring Brook Press, 2009), which was applauded by School Library Journal for “its wry humor and illustrations worthy of a Roald Dahl creation.”  Philip lives with Erin in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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