Inside the Slidy Diner

Overview

Meet Edie, who resides--permanently--at The Slidy Diner. She'd really like it if you would join her. With Edie as your guide you'll have no trouble avoiding the wigglepedes, and she'll steer you away from the pumpkin asparagus pie with crunchy-bit topping (nobody knows what the crunchy bits are).

In her first picturebook, author Laurel Snyder teams with artist Jaime Zollars to give readers the ultimate greasy spoon experience, and leaves them wondering: Do the creepy goings-on ...

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Overview

Meet Edie, who resides--permanently--at The Slidy Diner. She'd really like it if you would join her. With Edie as your guide you'll have no trouble avoiding the wigglepedes, and she'll steer you away from the pumpkin asparagus pie with crunchy-bit topping (nobody knows what the crunchy bits are).

In her first picturebook, author Laurel Snyder teams with artist Jaime Zollars to give readers the ultimate greasy spoon experience, and leaves them wondering: Do the creepy goings-on at The Slidy Diner really exist or are they the product of a lonely girl's imagination? Reviews "...for the child who thrives on weird and gross."—Richmond Parents Monthly  "Here's a diner well worth repeated visits-but steer clear of the "chocolate" milk."-Kirkus Reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The Slidy Diner is one big health code violation: the proprietress wears a fly-covered sweater and "smells like rotten grill grease," the toilet is a cesspool, "someone is usually running with scissors" and the sticky buns are scraped up off the floor. Even the people are ghoulish, with their flattened, oversize heads, blank eyes and doll-like bodies. Snyder, a debut picture book author and PW reviewer, and Zollars (Not in Room 204) serve up a wealth of Grand Guignol detail, beginning with the creepy premise: Edie, the narrator, claims she is held captive at the diner for stealing a lemon drop, and she gives a young patron the insider's tour of the joint. Most of the best jokes are visual: the poison label stuck onto a countertop; pet food tins stashed amid the staples; a slice of pie garnished as if with eyeballs. The gross-out crowd will eat this up. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Edie tells us she spends her days inside the Slidy Diner, "Because once I stole a lemon drop from the box behind the counter and got caught." The diner is a strange place indeed, presided over by Ethelmae, who "sees everything," and populated by a group of surreal characters. "The noise is always," but there is no music. Ethelmae will sweep a sticky bun up from the filthy, slanted floor, and serve it. Flies stick to her sweater; she serves pumpkin asparagus pie with mysterious crunchy topping. Strange things also happen in the diner, but… there are dark blue secrets. And silver whispers…magic trapdoors. To birthdays and Saturday." If Edie offered you a lemon drop, would you take it? In keeping with the strange setting, Zollars's acrylic double-page scenes with collage are replete with strange objects along with the odd people, including a racetrack for rodents, flocks of tiny birds and other flying critters, even "wigglepedes." The illustrations invite repeated examination of the items on the walls and tables along with the cans, books, and boxes on the shelves and beneath the counter. All the characters are depicted with large round heads and skinny arms. Strange fun for sure. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal

K-Gr 3

Ethelmae, who is forced to work at the bug-infested diner for stealing a single lemon drop, shares vignettes about events at the disgusting eatery. Once, the booths became so greasy, they slid outside of the restaurant into the street. The diners kept right on eating and were never heard from again. The waitresses pinch the customers, and the chocolate milk isn't really chocolate. The narrator leads her friend to a secret room where goodbyes are banned. "Wouldn't you like a lemon drop.... Have one. They're delicious." The story is confusing and further muddled by the sentence structure, e.g., "Inside the Slidy Diner, the noise is always." While the drawings make great use of detail and color, they seem only to add to the murkiness of the narrative. It would be difficult to find an audience for this book.-Beth Cuddy, Seward Elementary School, Auburn, NY

Kirkus Reviews
In as fine a game of Grossout as ever was, a child squires an anxious-looking friend around a diner in which, she claims, the cuisine runs to Pumpkin Asparagus Pie and Greasily Niblets, the floor is so slick that booths sometimes slide out into the street and the proprietor is decidedly witchy: "Sometimes Ethelmae grins at you, and you can see her tooth." Zollars's canted, full-bleed cafe scenes follow suit, with views of diners chowing down on a pig's head, a trophy-sized cockroach fixed to a platter above the counter and basement restrooms surrounded by a flood crawling with "nefarious wigglepedes." Still, unlike Merrilee Kutner's Zombie Nite Cafe (2007), as depicted by Ethan Long, or Jane Breskin Zalben's Saturday Night at the Beastro (2004), it's not all bad, for "Inside the Slidy Diner, there are dark, blue secrets. / And silver whispers. / Inside the Slidy Diner there are magic trapdoors. / To birthdays and Saturdays." Best yet, all "goodbyes have been banned!" Here's a diner well worth repeated visits-but steer clear of the "chocolate" milk. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781582461878
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

JAIME ZOLLARS has illustrated three books from her studio in Pasadena, California. Like Laurel she has also been a waitress, and once even accidentally served a dish with a big horsefly floating on top.

LAUREL SNYDER graduated from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, then stole a lemon drop and ended up a waitress in a very greasy spoon. She has written three books for adults and has a middle-grade novel on the way. She lives with her family in Atlanta, Georgia.

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