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June 29, 1999


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About the Author

David Wiesner is internationally renowned for his visual storytelling and has won the Caldecott Medal three times--for Tuesday, The Three Pigs, and Flotsam--the second person in history to do so. He is also the recipient of three Caldecott Honors, for Free Fall, Sector 7, and Mr. Wuffles. He lives near Philadelphia with his family. www.hmhbooks.com/wiesner


K-Gr 3-- As in the mysterious goings-on of that particular Tuesday (Clarion, 1991) not long ago, Wiesner again takes off on a flight of fantasy, this time set in the not-too-distant future. This sci-fi adventure begins with Holly Evans, a visionary third grader who launches some seedlings into the ionosphere as part of a science experiment. And so the fun begins. Cabbages fill the sky in one part of the country, turnips in another. ``Lima beans loom over Levittown.'' ``Parsnips pass by Providence.'' Yankee ingenuity reigns supreme as the mammoth veggies are put to some rather creative uses. Of course, there's an extraterrestial twist to this healthful tale and the true fate of Holly's project is at last revealed. The exquisite watercolors are truly out of this world. The three-quarter page paintings utilize unusual perspective and are filled with clever detail. The photorealistic quality of the figures and background vistas only underscores the absurdity of the gigantic airborne produce and accentuates the deadpan humor. By all accounts, June 29, 1999 is a date to remember. --Luann Toth, School Library Journal

These witty, wonderfully imaginative pictures reward closer study. Hurray for Wiesner, and his grand sense of humor. Kirkus Reviews with Pointers

Caldecott Medalist Wiesner once again presents an offbeat premise and unconventional artwork to tempt youngsters into his deliciously skewed landscapes. In this thoroughly winning flight of fancy, it seems the strange events that occurred on Tuesday still continue. Wiesner here leaves the boggy, froggy swamp for suburbia and beyond, setting this work in ``Ho-Ho-kus, New Jersey.'' There Holly Evans sends boxes of planted vegetable seeds into the ionosphere as part of her ambitious third-grade science project--``her classmates are speechless.'' What happens next may or may not be the result of Holly's experiment, but the country is never the same. Giant specimens of produce begin to bombard various regions, as ``cucumbers circle Kalamazoo,'' ``artichokes advance on Anchorage'' and ``cauliflower carpets California.'' (On the same date, it turns out, a space-ship's cook has inadvertently jettisoned mega-vegetables from his galley. Perhaps a bizarre coincidence, perhaps not.) Wiesner's dry humor, irony and artistic wizardry have been masterfully marshalled into a visual and literary feast. Kids will relish rolling amusingly alliterative phrases off their tongues almost as much as they delight in these wryly rendered paintings. From the huge broccoli reminiscent of the fallen tree in Hurricane to the Mount Rushmore-like faces carved from potatoes, readers will adore this imaginative romp. Though several picture books of late have attempted to combine drollery and sophistication, only to end up with results far over youngsters' heads, this work succeeds notably on several levels. Spectacular to look at, great fun to read--it is, in sum, executed with consummate skill. Ages 5-up. (Oct.)

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