Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Badger's Fancy Meal by Keiko Kasza

Horn Book (May/June, 2007)
Prey once again evades predator (see Wolf's Chicken Stew; My Lucky Day, rev. 9/03) in Kasza's amiable depiction of a badger trying to upgrade his chow. Badger dispiritedly surveys the provisions in his den -- "apples, worms and roots...same old, same old" -- and heads aboveground to search for a "fancy meal." Seeing a mole, he imagines it stuffed into a taco shell, covered with shredded lettuce and cheese, but the mole, of course, doesn't share his vision. Each sunny ink-and-gouache spread of Badger on the prowl has a sly additional viewpoint, in which the page appears to be folding back to reveal what's going on in Badger's den while he's away: the mole, a rat, and a rabbit escape into the den in turn, where they each feast happily on Badger's humble fare. When the unsuccessful hunter returns, tired and hungry and ready to dig in, all he finds is a note addressed to "Whoever Lives Here" thanking him for the "fancy" grub. Presumably, Badger will treat a worm as if it were foie gras from now on.

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