by Scott Mickelson
Boyd Mills Press
"This is the story of Artichoke Boy,/whose life was filled with artichoke joy." In this paean to the edible flower, the eponymous hero stares goggle-eyed at readers as he describes his life: he plays artichoke baseball, sleeps in an artichoke bed, and eats artichoke ice cream. The mixed-media collages incorporate photographs of the plant throughout the colorful pastel-hued pages, and the cartoon drawings feature confident heavy lines. Although the rhyme struggles a bit, the ingenuity displayed in integrating artichokes throughout the book is admirable. Children unfamiliar with this delicacy may miss some of the subtler wit (for example, "Butterdent" brand toothpaste is featured in an illustration where artichoke bracts fill in for the bristles of a toothbrush), but will certainly appreciate the humor of the protagonist smiling slyly as he displays his "artichoke derriere." Paired with titles such as Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers's How Are You Peeling?, Mickelson's offering could be used in a food-themed storytime. The story is fun, but an additional purchase.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
This review originally appeared in School Library Journal.