Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dinner Time

Jan Pienkowski's Dinner Time quite honestly confused me. On one hand, I enjoyed the pop-ups. Taken out of context, the pop-ups are quite fun and playful. Easy to manipulate. The frog, for example, the opening pop-up is just fun. You can make him "speak" based on how open or closed the book happens to be. The art is enjoyable as well, for the most part. I'm not sure if I would have found it fun or a bit scary as a kid--I spooked really easily--but it's well done. It's the premise of this one that confuses me. Not really. Just a little bit. It's the food chain done pop-up style. And not the food chain you might be expecting. Vultures eat frogs. Gorillas eat vultures. Tigers eat gorillas. Crocodiles eat tigers. Sharks eat crocodiles. Everybody but the shark is a meal. And the pop-ups show these greedy jaws--sharp, pointy teeth included--in action. The food chain does exist. It is a part of life. But whenever a wildlife documentary happens to be on, I'm one of those squeamish sorts that can't bear to see animals eating other animals. The chase. The capture. The blood. The devouring. And it's not like this book has any of the blood and guts. It's simple and straightforward enough.

"Tiger said, "I'm going to eat you for my dinner." And he did."

This one will either appeal to you or it won't.

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