The Shivers in the Fridge

( 1 )


Little, flat Sonny Shivers and his family only know it's cold and dark where they live, and whenever the earth quakes, a monstrous hand, reaching forth in a great flash of light, snatches away part of their landscape —Buttery Cliffs, towering Mt. Ketchup . . . and with the landscape goes his family, one by one, until only Sonny is left to face the monsters. Who are they? What and where is the Shivers family? Children will delight in puzzling it all out before the Shivers do.


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Little, flat Sonny Shivers and his family only know it's cold and dark where they live, and whenever the earth quakes, a monstrous hand, reaching forth in a great flash of light, snatches away part of their landscape —Buttery Cliffs, towering Mt. Ketchup . . . and with the landscape goes his family, one by one, until only Sonny is left to face the monsters. Who are they? What and where is the Shivers family? Children will delight in puzzling it all out before the Shivers do.

Fran Manushkin's dry but juicy humor, spiced with food puns, carries this droll saga through shivery perils to a warm reunion on the refrigerator door. As ever, Caldecott-winner Paul O. Zelinsky's wit makes theater of the most improbable situations.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Cool ingredients for read-aloud laughs. (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
Publishers Weekly
Manushkin (The Little Sleepyhead) imagines a miniature family that lives in the dark recesses of a refrigerator. The Shivers family "huddle[s] together for warmth," overlooking geographic ranges such as Orange Hills and, deep in the lettuce crisper, Spooky Jungle. Occasionally, "the whole world began to shake, and a great blazing light shone forth." A human has opened the door, but the Shivers only perceive a grasping "monster" and a curious pointy-eared cat. One day, Papa Shivers decides to find them "a warmer place to live," slips on Buttery Cliff and vanishes. The next day, Grandpa looks for him (the men take the initiatives here) and gets stuck to the lid of Mt. Ketchup. Later, the monster captures Mama and Grandma; alone, "Sonny hugged his Honey Bear for comfort, but all he got was sticky." Readers wonder: Who are the Shivers? What are they, since they resemble people but are flat and flexible? Will they thrive in the outside world? Zelinsky (Rapunzel; The Wheels on the Bus) here employs a sketchy colored-pencil style, a la Laurie Keller. His close-up images preserve the comical mysteries and wonders of the fridge and, on rereadings, reveal how the Shivers got there. But the conclusion calls the premise into question: the Shivers have lived outside the fridge, so they should know about the monsters and temperate climate. Nevertheless, with Zelinsky's capable illustrations suggesting the Shivers' confusion at things readers take for granted, Manushkin gives a quirky perspective on a major appliance. Ages 4-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
The Shivers family suffers from the cold and in the dark. They do not seem to understand, but we know from the title and initial illustrations that the reason is that they are in a refrigerator. Periodically their world shakes, a blazing light shines, a "monster" with "claws" reaches in, and something disappears or reappears. Papa decides to try to find a warmer, safer place for his family to live. As he trips on Buttery Cliff, the light goes on; then Papa is gone with the Butter. He does not return, so Grandpa sets out. When the "monster" takes Mt. Ketchup, Grandpa, stuck to the top, is gone as well. One by one, Mama disappears, then Grandma, gone with the Emerald Lake (of Jello) and the Spooky Jungle salad. Sonny, alone and shivering and trying to be brave, determines to find his family. Where they all end happily together brings the clever tale to a satisfying end. Zelinsky's mixed media produces the jumbled mix of a less-than-well-organized fridge and the odd-looking, sketchy—and a bit cartoony—characters who live there. We recognize objects, but there is a sense of magic to the juxtaposing of sizes: the double-page rendering of a mountain of purple grapes with tiny Sonny sitting triumphantly on top is followed by the giant hand snatching with possible disaster to follow. Do not miss the jacket's difference from the cover and the contrasting front and back endpapers.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Sonny, Mama, Papa, Grandma, and Grandpa Shivers find themselves living in a strangely cold and dark place. Grandpa feels an earthquake coming; the world begins to shake, a great blazing light shows forth, and a monster appears, reaching out and out until-"PHOOMPH!!!" The earthquake is over, the monster is gone, and the Shivers are plunged back into darkness. First, Cheesy Square disappears, and then Jelly is taken. Papa ponders their living conditions and sets off to find the family a warmer place to live. He climbs to the top of Buttery Cliff and the world begins to shake, a great blazing light shows forth, a monster appears, and Buttery Cliff and Papa are gone. Grandpa, Mama, and Grandma leave in a similar manner, and Sonny is left alone. He decides to face the monsters and climbs onto Purple Boulders. He is snatched up by a creature who smiles and announces, "Mom! Look what I found! The last magnet!" Sonny is flying and then "PLUNK!" lands on the side of the fridge next to his family, who are all proudly stuck to the door, holding up important papers. Zelinsky's refrigerator world comes alive with the cold, the darkness, and the terror of the earthquakes, blazing lights, and creatures who snatch items and family members away from each other. Manushkin's humor softens the scary aspects of the story. A quirky and satisfying selection for those with a palate for adventure.-Rebecca Sheridan, Easttown Library & Information Center, Berwyn, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
What if a family of five kitchen magnets were marooned in the fridge with only their cardboard box for warmth? Manushkin's sparkling mix of folkloric repetition, funny dialogue and-"PHOOMPH!!!"-perfectly chosen sound effects, cleverly withholds its punch line till the end. All day, the Shivers face predictable but rattling events: quaking rumbles, blazes of light, "monsters" that "reached out, reached out" to snatch away bits of the foodscape. One by one, each Shiver-by design or accident-is whisked off to an uncertain fate. (In a hilarious union of art and text, Mama cavorts in warm Emerald Lake-only to stick fast as the gelatin sets: "Emerald Lake, Jolly Whip-and MAMA!-were gone.") The antic mixed media spreads hum: Compositions agreeably evoke Paul Galdone with fresh, original garnishes. Zelinsky runs with the authorial metaphor, depicting the fridge contents as a skewed, teeming village-where a milk carton's top is a pitched roof, and broccoli's a tree. From endpapers on, hidden visual clues hint at the Shivers' magnetic personalities. Cool ingredients for read-aloud laughs. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525469438
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/19/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 667,892
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.85 (w) x 12.25 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2008

    Kids will want to read over and over

    I read this to my children and they loved it! When we first read it, we didn't see the little detail which explains why the Shivers were in the fridge. After reading it a couple more times, we noticed it. Discovering that detail was exciting for my children and even though they knew it from then on, they still wanted me to read it to them over and over. This one is a keeper!

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