“Creepy Carrots,” by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown

October 23, 2012

CREEPY CARROTS

By Aaron Reynolds

Illustrated by Peter Brown

Simon & Schuster. $16.99. Ages 4-7

”Creepy Carrots!” by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown. (Simon & Schuster)

What sound does a carrot possessed of evil intentions make? “Tunktunktunk.” At least, that’s what Jasper Rabbit thinks he hears when he eats one too many of the cranky crunchies and they begin haunting him — seemingly bent on revenge. Dramatically lit, sepia-toned graphic panels fade to black at the margins, giving this tale of animated vegetation a noir cast. Buck-toothed Jasper begins seeing carrots in the bathroom mirror when he brushes his pearly whites, in the shed when he hops home from school, and as shadowy apparitions on his bedroom wall after the lights are turned out. Despite his parents’ steadfast if increasingly exasperated reassurances, Jasper is not appeased, even though each creepy sighting is eventually explained away: an orange ducky and washcloth on the edge of the bathtub, orange handles on the clippers and a can of orange paint stored in the shed, an orange bucket and bunny toy in the bedroom. No matter: Anxiety blooms into full-blown angst. Full-blown, that is, until Jasper cleverly hatches a plan aimed at carrot containment. In a season usually ruled by those other fat orange globes, this crisply paced tale offers a jolly and only slightly scary alternative. And it has the added advantage of providing vegetable-averse youngsters with ammunition when their parents urge them to eat up!

Kristi Elle Jemtegaard

CREEPY CARROTS

By Aaron Reynolds

Illustrated by Peter Brown

Simon & Schuster. $16.99. Ages 4-7

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