Creepy Carrots
written by Aaron Reynolds
illustrated by Peter Brown

tinted image, title superimposed

Aaron Reynolds' Creepy Carrots!
illustrated by Peter Brown

Book review by Steve Barancik

Ages 4-8

The vegetables want revenge!

What's orange, grows in a patch and has a scary face?

Pumpkins? No. Carrots.

I, like most kids, grew up terrified of carrots - terrified that some sadistic adult might make me eat one. But Jasper Rabbit isn't most kids. Whenever he gets the chance, he goes to Crackenhopper Field and yanks some yummy orange carrots (Jasper lives in an otherwise grayscale world) right out of the ground.

Jasper shows no restraint in this regard. He might visit Crackenhopper three or more times a day. Each time, he eats multiple carrots.

And there are signs that the carrots might not be too happy about it.

It's a feeling Jasper gets, that tunktunktunk of carrots on the march. Coming after him.

He can never quite catch them in the act. Is that an angry carrot hiding in the shadows...or his orange rubber ducky? A vengeful orange vegetable casting a giant shadow on his darkened bedroom wall...or a teddy bear in a bucket? Even when he can't see them, he can hear their "carroty breathing."

No one else can see the creepy, creeping carrots, but that doesn't convince Jasper they aren't there, following him.

Jasper hatches a plan, the kind of plan that requires lots of cool tools and heavy machinery. We get to see him at work for awhile before we get to see his solution: a giant four-sided fence, surrounded by an alligator-filled moat. That will keep the carrots from getting out of Crackenhopper

Jasper's pretty proud of himself, but author Aaron Reynolds and illustrator Peter Brown give us readers a final look over the fence. And guess what?...

Those creepy carrots are pretty happy with the outcome as well.

If the story strikes you as a bit thin, well, it is. But remember: in look and feel, Creepy Carrots! is most certainly a book intended for the Halloween season, and it serves that purpose well...without being too scary.

More Caldecott reviews.

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