From the Publisher
"A sophisticated version of the theme of learning tolerance." National Center for the Study of Children's Literature
"Whimsical and beautifully drawn." Scholastic Parent & Child
"A charming story." OC Family
"Lovely illustrations . . . delightful tale." Hudson Valley Life
"A moral tale whose decor is just as impeccable as its lesson." Publishers Weekly
"A quirky, radiant story." Carolina Parent
National Center for the Study of Children's Literature
A sophisticated version of the theme of learning tolerance.
A quirky, radiant story.
Following a familiar story line, this fable by an Austrian duo features some outcasts who withstand scorn from a haughtier, higher-status group, but end by thawing their hearts. In this case, the outcasts are vegetables, and the snooty in-group are flowers. "Raw vegetables-how dreadfully crude!" a Carnation exclaims, when Cauliflower and Carrot show up at the dance. "They're nothing but tedious soup-wallowers!" cries Marigold in disgust. Secure in the knowledge that they have given no offense, the vegetable couple burn up the dance floor and charm the flowers out of their hauteur ("They all learned that they could get along splendidly"). Leffler's gouaches, composed of equal parts fairy wood, royal castle and Bloomingdale's best, provide the volume's chief delight. He rejects a cartoon approach, injecting a human quality into the plants. With a sensual palette of wedding cake colors, Leffler transforms pistils and stamens into delicate headgear, and petals into floor-length ballgowns. Cauliflower sports an 18th-century pair of breeches and a lace collar to slim his girth, while the delicate Carrot looks divine in a sheath dress and a tiara of gently waving greens. Collage touches (a photo of a butterfly bag dangling from the arm of a pansy lady, the lettering from a piece of sheet music) add atmosphere without drawing undue attention. The result is a moral tale whose d cor is just as impeccable as its lesson. Ages 5-10. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Cauliflower wants to go to the Flower Ball. His friends, the Vegetable Bunch, object. They think the flowers are "snobby and snooty and look down their noses at us." Then Carrot decides to go with Cauliflower. When they get to the ball, the flowers "mumble and grumble" as they see the vegetables. In spite of all this, Cauliflower and Carrot begin to dance. The flowers watch as they dance a lively rumba, tango, and cha?cha?cha. The flowers are so pleased that they applaud the vegetables. They all visit and dance together for the rest of the evening. The flowers invite them to their next ball. Cauliflower and Carrot return home, happy and tired. This is a gentle story about overcoming differences written with imagination, humor, and good prose. The whimsical illustrations suit the story perfectly. 2005, Pumpkin House, Ages 5 to 10.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Cauliflower announces his intention of attending the Flower Ball. Some of the vegetables tell him that he should "stick with [his] own kind" and flowers are only "stuck-up vase stuffers," but Carrot agrees to go with him. The flowers are at first scandalized that the veggies should crash their party but they are such good dancers and charming guests that a splendid time is had by all. Wordplay and alliteration abound, and the imaginative text matches the whimsical watercolor illustrations. Leffler's anthropomorphized flowers and vegetables have a great deal of personality and are reminiscent of David Ellwand's flower folks in Christine Tagg's Cinderlily (Candlewick, 2003). They clearly communicate the drama of mixing for the first time with those who are different. Children will be charmed and encouraged by this unusual flight of floral fancy.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.