By Mary Ann Hoberman, Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Voyager Books, 1997
Creamy oatmeal, pots of it! Homemade bread and lots of it! Peeling apples by the peck, Mrs. Peters was a wreck.
Is it hyperbole to refer to Mary Ann Hoberman and Marla Frazee as the Robert DeNiro/Al Pacino of children’s literature? I see either of their names on a book cover, and I grab it up. Seven Silly Eaters is a dream collaboration: detailed drawings you can pore over hundreds of times without getting bored and a fabulously funny rhyming narrative. The silly eaters of the title are a lovable, rambunctious brood of kids, but the star of this book is their devoted mother who picks, peels, strains, scrapes, poaches, fries and kneads to keep them happy. There’s also an Easter egg for parents: acknowledgment that no matter how much you love and adore your kiddos, they can freaking exhaust you. Fortunately, that exhaustion is always temporary. Only thing missing from this book: A recipe for Mrs. Peters’ accidentally delicious birthday cake. Pink lemonade, applesauce and bread dough? I’m intrigued (and a little grossed out.)