Creepy Carrots!

( 2 )

Overview

In this Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch as a rabbit 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...

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Overview

In this Caldecott Honor–winning picture book, The Twilight Zone comes to the carrot patch as a rabbit 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 picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.

A 2013 Caldecott Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
The stark and atmospheric illustrations by Brown…are simply splendid.
—Pamela Paul
The Washington Post
…crisply paced…And it has the added advantage of providing vegetable-averse youngsters with ammunition when their parents urge them to eat up!
—Kristi Elle Jemtegaard
Publishers Weekly
In a spot-on parody of a paranoid thriller, a hungry bunny senses “creepy carrots” watching his every move. Jasper Rabbit doesn’t think twice about plundering the carrots of Crackenhopper Field “until they started following him.” Jasper glimpses three jack-o-lantern–jawed carrots behind him in the bathroom mirror (when he turns around it’s just a washcloth, shampoo bottle, and rubber duck—or is it?), and he yells for his parents when a carrot shadow looms on his bedroom wall. Reynolds (Snowbots) makes liberal use of ellipses for suspense, conjuring the “soft... sinister... tunktunktunk of carrots creeping.” Brown (Children Make Terrible Pets) illustrates in noirish grayscale with squash-orange highlights and dramatic lighting, framing each panel in shiny black for a claustrophobic film-still effect that cements the story’s horror movie feel. Jasper’s grin grows maniacal as he constructs a fortress and moat to contain the offending carrot patch, giving the carrots a happy ending in this Hitchcock spoof (Brown even sneaks in a sly Vertigo reference). Watch out, vegetarians—these carrots have bite! Ages 4–8. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"Brown’s panels–bordered in black, drawn in pencil, and digitally composed and colored–cleverly combine the mood of film noir with the low-tech look of early children’s television staging for an aesthetic that is atmospheric, but not overwhelming.... Panels in varying sizes and multiple perspectives keep pace with Reynolds’s tongue-in-cheek narrative.... This age-appropriate horror story takes children’s fears seriously and then offers them an escape through genuine comic relief."—School Library Journal

* "Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories."—Kirkus Reviews in a STARRED review

* "A spot-on parody of a paranoid thriller...."—Publishers Weekly in a starred review

The New York Times
A New York Times bestseller
Children's Literature - Heidi Hauser Green
Forget Children of the Corn; it is time to fear carrots! Like any good bunny child, Jasper loves carrots. Any time he passes through Crackenhopper Field—to school, to baseball practice, to home—he pulls some "fat...crispy...free" delicacies from the ground and enjoys a tasty snack. It is all lighthearted, yummy fun...at first. Then, the carrots start to follow him. They are on the hill...behind the shower curtain...in the shed...in his bedroom..."EVERYWHERE"! His parents check the dark shadows when Jasper calls for their help, but they never see the trio of orange menaces that Jasper does. Fortunately, Jasper is resourceful. He knows how to stop the vengeful veggies. All he needs to restore his peace of mind is some tools, some lumber, and some crocodiles. Reynolds' sparse text builds tension in a manner that is comforting even to nervous young readers, while Peter Brown's Caldecott Honor-recognized artwork conveys a film noir sentiment to this anthropomorphic children's tale. James Naughton's reading of the tale gives the story a sense of urgency but not panic. This appealing story will be welcomed by emergent readers who want to have books in hand on their own. Reviewer: Heidi Hauser Green
Children's Literature - Emily Griffin
Boy, does Jasper Rabbit love carrots! He pulls them from the ground and eats them all day—on his way to school, before Little League practice, heading home at night...until one day they start following him. Peter Brown's black, white, and gray pencil and paper illustrations include bursts of orange and expertly convey how spooked Jasper becomes by his newfound stalkers. Hoping it is just his imagination, Jasper first continues on with his routine, trying to convince himself that he is just being silly. When he heads home one night and screams for mom—there are creepy carrots in the shed! Of course, when mom opens the shed there are no creepy carrots (not even the regular kind). Later, Jasper screams for dad—creepy carrots under the bed! But just like mom, dad saw no creepy carrots. "By the end of the week Jasper was seeing creepy carrots creeping EVERYWHERE." Paranoid, Jasper hatches an ingenious plan: he meticulously builds an extremely tall fence around Crackenhopper Field, where the carrots live, complete with a crocodile infested moat. Jasper is thrilled—his plan worked. The carrots response is even more exuberant—finally, they are safe from their carrot eating tormentor. A hilarious tale for readers and listeners of all ages. Reynolds and Brown make a flawless team, pairing Reynolds' diverse sentence structure and descriptive language with Brown's noir, graphic novel reminiscent illustrations. Reviewer: Emily Griffin
Kirkus Reviews
Kids know vegetables can be scary, but rarely are edible roots out to get someone. In this whimsical mock-horror tale, carrots nearly frighten the whiskers off Jasper Rabbit, an interloper at Crackenhopper Field. Jasper loves carrots, especially those "free for the taking." He pulls some in the morning, yanks out a few in the afternoon, and comes again at night to rip out more. Reynolds builds delicious suspense with succinct language that allows understatements to be fully exploited in Brown's hilarious illustrations. The cartoon pictures, executed in pencil and then digitally colored, are in various shades of gray and serve as a perfectly gloomy backdrop for the vegetables' eerie orange on each page. "Jasper couldn't get enough carrots … / … until they started following him." The plot intensifies as Jasper not only begins to hear the veggies nearby, but also begins to see them everywhere. Initially, young readers will wonder if this is all a product of Jasper's imagination. Was it a few snarling carrots or just some bathing items peeking out from behind the shower curtain? The ending truly satisfies both readers and the book's characters alike. And a lesson on greed goes down like honey instead of a forkful of spinach. Serve this superbly designed title to all who relish slightly scary stories. (Picture book. 4-7)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Jasper Rabbit's craving for carrots is insatiable. He raids Crackenhopper Field several times a day, and his manner shows no regard for the vegetables' feelings. He "pulled," "yanked," and "ripped" them out before greedily gorging. Everything changes when he senses that he is being followed. Carrots seem to be "creeping" up on him everywhere he goes. Jasper's eyes play tricks on him (or do they?), as he sees the veggies' menacing reflections in the bathroom mirror, silhouettes on the bedroom wall, shapes on the shelves in the shed. Brown's panels-bordered in black, drawn in pencil, and digitally composed and colored-cleverly combine the mood of film noir with the low-tech look of early children's television staging for an aesthetic that is atmospheric, but not overwhelming. The scenes are rendered in black, white, and gray-except for the carrots and the objects that stand in for them when Jasper does his double takes: these are all orange. Panels in varying sizes and multiple perspectives keep pace with Reynolds's tongue-in-cheek narrative as Jasper solves his problem by building a fortress, complete with an alligator-filled moat, around the offending plants. Little does he know that the carrots are cheering on the other side of the fence at the success of their plan to keep the herbivore out. This age-appropriate horror story takes children's fears seriously and then offers them an escape through genuine comic relief. Contrast this with the equally hilarious moat and bunnies in Candace Fleming's Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! (Atheneum, 2002).—Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442402973
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 8/21/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 45,828
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.40 (w) x 12.12 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Reynolds isn’t scared of carrots, but he’s terrified of black olives. He’s the author of many books for kids, including Superhero School, Chicks and Salsa, and the Joey Fly, Private Eye graphic novel series. His books have been featured on the Henson Productions national television show, Between the Lions, and nominated for many awards including the 2010 Edgar Allen Poe Mystery Award and the Monarch Kid’s Choice Award. He lives in Chicago with his wife, two kids, and four neurotic cats. You can visit Aaron at Aaron-Reynolds.com.

Peter Brown is the author of Children Make Terrible Pets and the critically acclaimed artist of Chowder and Flight of the Dodo. He is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena, California, and he lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit Peter at PeterBrownStudio.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 21, 2012

    What is the scariest vegetable of all time? Broccoli? Rutabaga

    What is the scariest vegetable of all time? Broccoli? Rutabaga? Black
    olives, perhaps? Kids have been debating this question for centuries.
    If you asked Jasper Rabbit, however, he would tell you that you’re
    barking up the wrong produce aisle. Everyone knows that the scariest
    vegetable of all time is any vegetable that follows you home. At least
    everyone knows this who has read Creepy Carrots! Creepy Carrots!
    chronicles the harrowing journey of Jasper Rabbit, a young bunny whose
    greed for carrots proves to be his own undoing. Jasper loves carrots.
    He can’t get enough of them, especially the ones from Crackenhopper
    field. But one day, as Jasper is about to help himself to another
    snack, he hears it – “The soft . . . sinister . . . tunktunktunk of
    carrots creeping.” From there it goes from bad to worse. Paranoid
    Jasper sees the creeping carrots everywhere: in his bathtub, in the
    garden shed and even in his bedroom at night. Or does he? Every time
    a grown up enters the picture it seems that Jasper is just suffering
    from an overactive imagination. There’s nothing to be worried about or
    so it seems. Is Jasper crazy or are the vegetables really out to get
    him? That is the sheer joy of reading Creepy Carrots! It keeps you
    guessing until the very satisfying end. Reynolds’ tight text coupled
    with Brown’s ominous black and white (and orange) drawings strike the
    perfect almost spooky tone for 4-8 year olds. It’s sure to entertain
    any kids who love a little moody mystery in their picture books.
    Brown’s illustrations of the carrots are certainly creepy, but probably
    not genuinely scary except to the most sensitive of younger kids. The
    exaggerated camera angles and shadowy drawings contrast nicely with the
    soft, cuddly images of Jasper, creating what feels like a
    tongue-in-cheek Twilight Zone for kids. Speaking of which, fans of this
    book will also want to check out Peter Brown’s Vimeo video, the Creepy
    Carrots Zone, which chronicles the old movies and TV shows Brown watched
    to nail the right look for Jasper’s tale. Guess what, Peter? It
    worked. Not only is this book a blast, but it would make a great read
    for parents who want an entertaining excuse to talk about their child’s
    fears, greed or even the impact we have on the environment. But for
    those who are simply looking for a playful story with cool visuals,
    Creepy Carrots! does not disappoint.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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