Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tomato Dynamite by Sharyn Eastaugh illustrated by Mitch Vane

Do you love the taste of a delicious tomato?  My friend at Kinderbookswitheverything blogged recently about tomatoes in picture books.  There are not very many especially when compared with apples and potatoes but I did enjoy Oh, No! Monster Tomato.

When I looked in our school library I found a little Aussie Bite book I had not read called Tomato Dynamite. Strictly speaking this is not exactly a book about tomatoes - rather the dynamite that might come from an old jar of tomato pickles.  Jack is a scientist.  He loves to experiment and explore the properties of things.  Finding a jar of old pickles labelled "Devil's own Hot Tomato Pickle 1984" is an object full of possibilities for Jack but first he has to convince Mrs Thomas, his neighbor and babysitter, to give it to him.

"I needed that jar.  It was the key to my future.  With that jar of tomato dynamite, I could make scientific breakthroughs. ... I really wanted to change the world.  I wanted to very badly."  Jack invents a story about a fictitious Uncle who works for the council waste disposal department.  Mrs Thomas believes him and hands over the jar.  Jack is delighted.

He spends several weeks conducting experiments.  Sadly nothing explodes but there is an awful smell - "an evil stench of incredible nastiness" that comes out of the jar.  Meanwhile Jack has to attend the dreaded school swimming carnival. Jack cannot swim and so he has to participate in a silly bubble blowing game in the baby pool.  He is desperate to avoid this embarrassment.

How will this jar of tomato pickles save the day?

Aussie Bites are perfect for newly independent readers and this one will certainly make you smile.  Mitch Vane adds his little cartoon illustrations which add to the fun.

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