Review Blog

Sep 20 2018

The Frooties series by Hil Rogers and Joshie Lefers

cover image

Ill. by Pete Petrovic. Scholastic, 2018.
"Bad Apple". ISBN 9781742765952
"Crazy Kiwi". ISBN 9781742765969
(Ages: 7-9) Themes: Fruit. Author and publisher Hil Rogers came up with the crazy idea to humanise her fruit bowl, creating a cast of fun characters with big personalities. Entrepreneur Joshie Lefers adds his own unique style with all of the silly jokes, humourous comments and fruity puns.
"Bad Apple" focuses on the trickster of the Frooties, who's always up to no good: poor Lady Mango awakes to find dark eyebrows and a curly moustache drawn on her face. Even with a warning from the Director of Melons, Watermelon Man, Bad Apple turns his punishment to clean out the fruit bowl into fun. He can't stop his Mop Express and pushes the Banana Bunch off the table. Banana Drama! A trip to the scary Rubbish Bin is required to save the bananas. This difficult journey involves making a Cling Wrap Bridge, the traversing down a knotted tea towel and a surprising catapult into the bin. Bad Apple meets some slightly disgusting characters whose comments are quite punny - 'Let's Avo Cuddle' and the fish skeleton who comments 'I don't have any body.' Bad Apple's kitchen adventures are madcap, with his friends include Punky Pineapple, Lefty and Righty Cherry twin and Petey Pear on hand to help. Their modes of transport and movement around the kitchen aided by the utensils adds to the craziness of this cartoon style junior novel.
"Crazy Kiwi" is an overwhelmingly green story, while all the other Frooties want to look their best and be chosen for breakfast by the Human Hand. Kiwi has some self-esteem issues. He's brown on the outside and green on the inside and he's a funny shape. Time for a visit to Granny (Nanny) Kiwi in the Old Froots (or Fruits) Home, a dangerous journey to undertake, surviving the Flames of Doom, the Creeping Forest and the Steel Grater. Kiwi, Nana Banana and Strawbs have some close encounters. They meet Confused Tomato a Not-Fruit Fruit, step into a Spaghetti Western food fight with a cowboy Cucumber and Zucchini and finally arrive at their destination. After some Midday Madness at the nursing home, the friends work on Kiwi's makeover.
"The Frooties" series are deliciously written and Pete Petrovic's zany cartoons bring the kitchen characters to life. These stories are fun to share, just right for readers who love jokes, puns and gross humour. Check out the bananas enjoying their blender bath in "Bad Apple!"
Rhyllis Bignell

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