Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oh no, Monster Tomato! by Jim Helmore and Karen Wall

This picture book is a joyous romp from the first page to the last.  It contains music and giant fold out pages.

Oh no, Monster Tomato reminded me of June 29th, 1999, Jack and the Beanstalk and The Lollipop Tree.  It is time for the Great Grislygust grow-off.  Marvin hopes to win by growing the tastiest tomatoes but his sister and brother have plans of their own.  Marvin, however, does some careful research and using the book Hancock's Horticultural Horrors he works to produce the best possible seeds.  Meanwhile Boris is growing tall bean plants and Prunella has a crop of plump pumpkins. Marvin plants his seed and waits. Nothing happens so he sings a simple song of encouragement and suddenly his tomatoes burst though the soil and through the page! The problem now is that these tomatoes are too big. Marvin enjoys watching as his brother and sister are splattered by the monster tomatoes but in order to win the competition Marvin needs to tame this wild plant.  He quickly composes another song to encourage the plant to shrink. The song works, the judges love these tasty tomatoes and Marvin wins first prize. The prize is a book entitled "Big bad Broccoli Ballads."  You will find a terrific surprise hiding under the final flap.

The music is perfect in this book.  The growing song is loud and ends on a high note while the shrinking song gets quieter and quieter and ends on a low note.  Here are some teaching notes.

I don't know how this book came to arrive in our school library but it is a very welcome addition.

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