Review Blog

Apr 10 2012

Oh, No, Monster Tomato by by Jim Helmore and Karen Wall

cover image

Egmont, 2009. ISBN 9781405247412.
It was the time for the Great Grislygust Grow-Off when the residents tried to grow the biggest and best. This year, Marvin planned to grow the tastiest tomatoes in town, much to the disgust of brother and sister Boris and Prunella who mocked and bullied him. Motivated and showing remarkable resilience, Marvin plans and plants and waits and watches, while all around him the people of Grislygust seem to be having great success. Marvin is bamboozled, until he tries something very different. The results are quite magical and the ground begins to grumble and shake until Marvin has more than he bargained for.
This is a lovely story with bright, quirky illustrations, lift-the-flaps and humour that will delight the younger age group. Because the text is in handwriting interspersed with other fonts to provide emphasis, I think it is more a read-aloud or read-along rather than a read-alone. Throughout the story there are a number of opportunities to entice the children to predict what might happen next that will also keep them engaged. Miss 5, who adores tomatoes, really enjoyed the story and we are going to try to grow our own next spring - I do hope we don't have quite the dramatic results that Marvin did.
Barbara Braxton

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