The team that introduced the pea pod babies in a cameo appearance in Tumble Me Tumbily here casts the spotlight on the trio of adorable infants. Sweet Pea, Snap Pea and Snow Pea grow tired of hearing that they're "perfect peas in a pod!" (although that is an accurate description of their horticultural home). "Mama and all her garden friends/ cootchie-coo them to no end./ .../ But anyone can plainly see/ that they're as different as can be!" When the avocado, celery and tomato vines subject the three to the indignity of wearing goofy, oversize matching caps (their faces may be swallowed up by ruffles, but the recipients' feelings shine through in vinegary body language), the babies decide to assert their individuality and explore the world solo. Up to this point, the sunny playfulness of Williams's large-scale watercolors and the babies' undeniable adorableness buoy the story, and even the text hints at something more exciting to come. But the preciousness only multiplies when the spreads split into horizontal thirds to chronicle their separate adventures. The combination of the twee visual scale, and the storytelling's relentless cuteness ("Just look at that silly tot,/ Now Snow Pea's/ in the turnip pot./ What does he see?/ It's a furry brown bunny/ Hop along after him. Isn't he funny?") sink the book into the insipidness it had so successfully skirted. Ages 6 mos.-4 yrs. (Dec.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
PreS-Gr 2-An absolute delight from start to finish, this playful rhyming story will charm its audience. The pea pod babies inhabit a magical garden realm, "Beyond the bluebells and the beans/hidden deep within the greens." Their mother is a frothy, leafy creature who affectionately tends to her children, as do many of their admiring vegetable neighbors. The babies tolerate Mama and her garden friends' cooing and fussing until these well-meaning neighbors make them matching hats. At this point, Sweet Pea, Snow Pea, and Snap Pea revolt against the scratchy clothing and escape the confines of their pod. Newfound liberty allows them to pursue their individual paths, establish their own identities, and, best of all, dispose of the dreaded gifts. The trio's adventures are depicted in parallel narratives until such time as Snap Pea requires rescuing from the briar patch. Mother gratefully welcomes her brood back to the nursery and notes the changes in their demeanor. Bouncing verse and winsome illustrations make this a winning purchase for most picture-book collections.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Clearly aimed at multiple birth siblings, this comical tale reminds readers that just because babies, peapod or otherwise, look the same does not mean they are the same. Baicker weaves a fanciful tale about a trio of tots who grow in a garden, "Beyond the bluebells and the beans / hidden deep within the greens." In this wondrous place, three little cherubs are cosseted by the local inhabitants. However, these pint-sized pixies chafe against being lumped together in a group, thus inspiring a series of individual adventures tailored to their unique personalities. Baicker's playful verses have a jaunty rhythm, that, when paired with prose liberally spiced with silly word play and sing-song rhymes, is neatly suited for read-aloud sessions. Williams's trademark soft-hued watercolors are steadfastly adorable. Beguiling views of a classic country garden are dotted with humorous, fanciful images, e.g., the neighbor ladies are actually a consortium of amiable vegetation, the triplet's mother is an enchanting flower/vine combination, etc. Baicker's tale will resonate with all youngsters, addressing their need to be recognized for their individuality. (Picture book. 2-6)