Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: a Tale of Picky Eating

THE LUCK OF THE LOCH NESS MONSTER: A TALE OF PICKY EATING; A. W. Flaherty and Scott Magoon; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007; unpaged. Picture Book

Back in the olden days, Katerina-Elizabeth boards an ocean liner for Scotland to visit her grandmother, only to discover to her horror that her parents have pre-ordered oatmeal for her breakfast every day of the trip. She throws it out the porthole. Full fathom five downward a tiny sea worm ("no bigger around than a thread and no longer than your thumbnail") gobbles up the oatmeal and grows larger. He follows the ocean liner eating Katerina-Elizabeth's discarded mush all the way upriver to Loch Ness, where he fears starvation until he discovers that Scottish children don't like oatmeal anymore than American children do. The author, a medical doctor, appends a commentary on how to tell if you are a "supertaster," which often makes for pickiness in eating, but the real charm is in the story itself, and its pictures. Besides, not liking oatmeal doesn't seem like pickiness to me.

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