Two for Stew

Two for Stew

by Laura Numeroff, Salvatore Murdocca, Barney Saltzberg
     
 

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Stew for two seems like such a simple request, but in this wacky restaurant romp, that order is anything but simple. A busload of tourists from Spain ate up every drop; and so a woman, her poodle, and the waiter set out on a quest for that chunky yet creamy, ever so dreamy, world-famous stew. There's nothing these two hungry customers like better -- except

Overview

Stew for two seems like such a simple request, but in this wacky restaurant romp, that order is anything but simple. A busload of tourists from Spain ate up every drop; and so a woman, her poodle, and the waiter set out on a quest for that chunky yet creamy, ever so dreamy, world-famous stew. There's nothing these two hungry customers like better -- except perhaps just one thing....


Along the way to becoming a bestselling children's book writer and illustrator, Laura Numroff walked dogs, worked at a jazz radio station, and ran a carousel. She is best known for her popular books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and If You Give a Moose a Muffin. Ms. Numeroff lives in Los Angeles.


A writer and illustrator with more than a dozen children's books to his credit, Barney Saltzberg is also a composer of music for children. His original songs, such as "Where, Oh, Where's My Underwear?," show the same delightful humor that inspires Two for Stew. A native Californian, Mr. Saltzberg was born and raised in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This giddy and sometimes campy salute to stew gives new meaning to the term "dinner theater." Intent on sampling Chez Stew's specialty, a woman and her white poodle will not accept a waiter's polite refusals ("There is no more stew,/ I'm sorry to say./ We do have some noodles,/ Will that be okay?"). The customer's demands escalate into an onstage fantasy sequence in which she and her dog float on angel wings, an all-chef chorus line brandishes cooking utensils and the garon glides in with the desired dish. Finally, the waiter invites the persistent woman and her pet to hop on his motorcycle; they rush off to find his grandma, keeper of the stew recipe. (This guy better get a great tip.) Numeroff (If You Give a Mouse a Cookie) and Saltzberg (Where, Oh Where's My Underwear?) provide lilting stanzas throughout this mannered escapade, relaying it as an exchange conducted solely between the woman and waiter; curlicued, Art Deco typeface designates her voice, italicized text is his. Murdocca (Baby Wants the Moon) sets the scene in an idealized city. His precise, colorful watercolors suit the blocky urban architecture, while his people gesture in cartoony poses borrowed from Hollywood's glory days. Although the send-up of romantic comedy will probably be lost on young readers, this stew has flavor enough to sate an appetite for a good romp. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Theater lights and toe-tapping rhythm are almost a part of this lilting text made of rhyming quatrains. A young woman takes her poodle to a big-city restaurant that's famous for its "chunky, yet creamy" stew. Alas, the restaurant is out of it. The waiter tries to entice her with other mouth-watering entrees, to no avail. He finally confesses that his grandma makes the stew from an old recipe, and the customer pleads, "We just never knew./Can we go to her house/And ask for some stew?" He agrees, but before they can leave on his motorcycle, they see grandma heading for the bowling alley in her 1950's purple Cadillac convertible and take off after her. The text rollicks along with different fonts effectively representing the conversations of the young woman and the waiter. Murdocca has made this selection a feast for the eyes. The stylized watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations depict New York City streets and buildings. A chorus line of chef/angels against a city skyline backdrop promotes the colorful imagery. Two for Stew must be shared aloud. It would be great read by an older girl and boy to primary groups. This book has all the trappings of a Broadway musical.-Betty Teague, Blythe Academy of Languages, Greenville, SC
Kirkus Reviews
Numeroff (Chimps Don't Wear Glasses, 1995, etc.) and Saltzberg (This is a Great Place for a Hot Dog Stand, 1995, etc.) have concocted a rhyming quest for stew that will elicit giggles and stimulate salivary glands. Hunger for world-famous stew is why a young woman and her poodle have come into a restaurant, but it's the one thing they just can't have; it was devoured earlier by a busload of tourists from Spain. The waiter offers noodles, ham nuggets and peas, and gravy and fish, but his two diners demand stew. As the stew is the creation of the waiter's grandmother, the trio head over to her house, but Grandma is heading out for bowling night. That cold fact puts an end to dreams of stew and changes the nature of their pursuit.

The illustrations bop along in sync with the light verse and occasionally expand into full-blown musical sets, complete with a chorus line of dancing chefs. The rhymes and Big Apple setting recall Debra and Sal Barraccas's The Adventures of Taxi Dog (1990), with an airier touch. It's satisfying fare, all except for the microwave ending: Those ravenous would-be diners ignore their hunger pangs to go bowling.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689829444
Publisher:
Aladdin
Publication date:
09/01/1999
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.22(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.11(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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