ÃŠWhen you shop for fruits and vegetables for your Thanksgiving dinner, beware! As you carefully examine the produce in your favorite market, don't be surprised to find the produce examining you. Is it possible that fruits and vegetables mirror feelings and moods we humans have? Should you doubt my warning, just leaf through How Are You Peeling? Whether happy, sad, bored, worried, grumpy, or shy, fruits and vegetables have their own special way of expressing these and many more feelings. Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers, the creative minds and artistic hands behind such popular books as Play with Your Food and Play with Your Pumpkin, have captured the natural smiles, frowns, grimaces, and snarls found on fruits and vegetables to produce another delightful book for all ages. The produce sculptures are carved using an Exacto knife. Features are added to enhance natural contours, folds, and indentions by using natural materials such as black-eyed peas for eyes and beet juice coloring for mouths. Once the sculptures are complete, they are photographed against colored backgrounds to achieve the effect and mood of each model. The result is an amazing art form, chock full of humor. A variety of peppers, oranges, onions, apples, melons, tomatoes, strawberries, turnips, pears, lemons, kiwis, and radishes cleverly depict the many human feelings and emotions we experience each day.
The book is easy enough for young readers to enjoy independently. Younger children will identify with the feelings expressed in the clever produce sculptures. The text asks many questions; regardless of what the answers may be, readers of all ages (and picture-lookers, too) will chuckle while turning each page. This book is a very good choice to have on hand when children need help dealing with emotions. Placed on a coffee table, the book will become a humorous conversation piece. After reading How Are You Peeling? you will never again look at produce the same old way.
Cynthia Drennan is a retired university administrator and grandmother of four.