Prather’s Pick: A unique photographic picture book
This week’s book is a cleverly done photographic picture book. The author is Terry Border, who is well known for his intriguing photography that involves the use of common everyday objects such as food, wire, paper clip, tape and others.
The picture book “Peanut Butter & Cupcake!” is intended for ages 5 and younger, and the main character is a thick slice of bread with peanut butter spread on the front. The arms and legs for this character were fashioned from wire, twisted to form feet and hands and then pushed into the bread. The other characters in the book were made in the same way.
As the story begins, Peanut Butter is standing in the yard (with a white picket fence) while his mother hangs clothes on the clothesline. (Mom’s feet are shaped like a lady’s shoes.) Peanut Butter has just gotten a soccer ball for his birthday. He can kick it around with his feet and even balance it on his head, but playing by himself isn’t fun. The family has just moved to town, so Peanut Butter hasn’t made a friend yet.
Mom suggests that Peanut Butter go out and meet some new friends, so he takes his soccer ball and heads out.
First Peanut Butter meets up with Hamburger, who is walking his dogs — and they’re not just any ordinary dogs. Hamburger’s dogs are hot dogs, and Hamburger holds onto them with a rope that’s attached to their leashes. What a sight!
The meeting with Hamburger is accompanied with a funny jingle that begins, “Hello, I’m new here, and I’d like to play.” And ends, “and we’ll go together like Peanut Butter and Hamburger.” (The same jingle is repeated for each potential friend that Peanut Butter meets, ending with the character’s name.)
But Hamburger doesn’t have time to play because he’s busy walking his dogs.
The next possible friend that Peanut Butter meets is Cupcake, who is sitting on the edge of a box resembling a sandbox, except this box is filled with candy sprinkles. Cupcake uses a shovel to fill a bucket with sprinkles in an effort to make a sprinkle castle. Cupcake is too busy to play.
Next, Egg comes along. He’s riding a unicycle with training wheels. Egg’s hands are poked into his shell. When Peanut Butter repeats the funny jingle, Egg cracks up — literally. Peanut Butter is afraid Egg may break altogether, so he continues on his journey to find a friend.
Peanut Butter finds Meatball, who s jumping on a spaghetti rope; a box of French Fries, who is supposed to be helping Hamburger walk his dogs; and Soup, who spells out “N-O” in response to Peanut Butter’s invitation to be a friend.
But then Peanut Butter meets up with a perfect companion, and the ending words in the jingle rhyme! And that’s not all.
I think that kids will enjoy having this book read to them over and over, and adults will enjoy the creativity involved in the production of “Peanut Butter & Cupcake.”
This week’s book is a new addition to books in the children’s room at the Moffat County Library. The book, published by Philomel Books (2014) costs $17.99 in hardcover.