ZEMACH, Margot. Eating Up Gladys. illus. by Kaethe Zemach. unpaged. CIP. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine Bks. Oct. 2005. Tr $16.99. ISBN 0-439-66490-X. LC 2004023417.
K-Gr 3This companion story about sibling relationships features the characters introduced in To Hilda for Helping (Farrar, 1977; o.p.). Gladys is the oldest, and she gets to do most things first. She is often a good sister, but when their parents are out, she gets bossy. One night, she goes too far, and her sisters plan to get even by eating her for dinner. “' Gladys is so mean, she might not taste good,' said Hilda. 'That's for sure,' said Rose. 'We'll need good things to eat her with.'” In response to the girls' exuberant and messy preparations, an angry Gladys ends up falling into a big cook pot and getting stuck in it. Hilda and Rose rise to the occasion and take over caring for the baby and making dinner, and Gladys discovers that her sisters might not need quite so much bossing. The dialogue captures the essence of sibling interaction, and children will easily recognize themselves in these characters. The charming watercolor illustrations ensure the story remains lighthearted while clearly depicting the characters' many emotions. This book will work well for storytimes or one-on-one sharing.Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX
Booklist Zemach, Margot. Eating up Gladys. Illus. by Kaethe Zemach. Oct. 2005. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $16.99 (0-439-66490-X).
PreSGr. 2. Rose is the littlest sister; Hilda is the one with brown braids; and Gladys is the oldest. While their parents are out, Gladys is in charge, and that's a good thingfor Gladys. But it's no fun for Hilda and Rose. The younger girls stage an imaginative revolt. They decide to eat their sister for dinner, which means they need plenty of spices and a really big pot. They compose a raucous song considering other tasty items that will be on the menu (“jelly, and pudding, and potatoes!”) and ending with the refrain, “Eating up Gladys!” As it happens, Gladys does fall into a pot, which gives the sisters the opportunity to prove they too can take charge. Kaethe Zemach is the oldest daughter of beloved author Margot, and when she found her mother's manuscript, she edited it and provided some marvelous illustrations. The brightly evoked family scenes, with their air of reminiscence, capture all the humor in the text, which has the occasional slight spot. But children will nod knowingly at the familiar interaction, relish the wild flights of imagination, and feel satisfied by the ending. Don't miss Kaethe's Zemach's “Following in Big Footsteps,” on p.000, in which she talks about making this book.
A bossy older sister gets served her comeuppance in this tasty tale. Younger Hilda and Rose are fed up with Gladys's overbearing ways, and they're jealous of all the perks of being the oldest: a private room, late nights and being in charge when mom and dad are gone. Margot Zemach's recounting of sibling dynamics is on target; she skillfully captures the essence of bossy older sisters and plays it out in a comic scenario. At their wits' end with Gladys, the sisters concoct a plan to cook her up for dinnerin true Grimm fashion. However, the pair's machinations are more vaudevillian than macabre. When, through a series of mishaps, Gladys ends up stuck in a pot, the younger sisters are given an opportunity to try out being responsible for the baby and supper and Gladys is fed while still stuck in the pot. Kaethe Zemach's ink-and-watercolor illustrations are homespun and poignant with an underlying comical edge to them. This wry tale with its very silly take on relationships will resonate with readers on both sides of the divide. (Picture book. 3-6)
Younger brothers and sisters will gleefully gobble up this story of sibling comeuppance penn