Friday, March 22, 2013
Jasper Rabbit loves eating the carrots in Crackenhopper Field and snacks on them whenever he can. On the way to school, going to little league practice, coming home at night... He just can't get enough! Until one day, the carrots start following him. "He first noticed something strange after the big game against the East Valley Hards. Jasper was about to help himself to a victory snack... when he heard it. The soft... sinister... tunktunktunk of carrots creeping." (My son always gets such a kick out of that part.) Before long, Jasper is seeing creepy carrots everywhere... in the shed, while he's brushing his teeth, in his bedroom at night. But it's just imagination. Or is it?
I just love Peter Brown's illustrations in this book and think they are the perfect compliment to Reynolds' story. I especially love the way Brown contrasts the orange carrots with the otherwise black and white illustrations. His choice of tones and color gives the story an eerie feel, similar to how music can make scenes in a movie feel more scary. Fortunately, for my kids, at least, they find the story hilarious. Were Jasper being followed by monsters instead of carrots, it probably would seem pretty frightening; but he's not. I mean, vegetables being scary? Carrots creeping around? The very idea is silly enough in itself that my kids don't find the story at all scary. I love the subtle message about not being too greedy, and also think the story helps kids see that while their fears might be irrational (for example, there is no such thing as monsters), they are real but within their control. For us, this book offers just the right amount of suspense and humor to make an all-around entertaining read.