Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Seven Silly Eaters

Last night Henry pulled some picture books to read. I love that my big kids at 10 and 12 years old still like me to read to them. Sometimes if I’m reading to Charlotte they’ll come over and sit beside me and listen. And sometimes I even make them read to me. Madeleine’s been known to read Wordsworth in the kitchen while I’m making dinner. She does it begrudgingly but I love it.

One of the books Henry picked was an old staple from when he and Madeleine were younger- The Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee.

The Seven Silly Eaters 
Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee 1997

The whole story is rather silly, about a family of children who will only eat one particular food and their poor mother who wears herself out feeding them. But the rhyming text is fun to read and the pictures are the best.

Poor Mrs. Peters got no rest
But still she did her very best.
She'd take the flour from the shelf
And mutter feebly to herself,
"What a fussy bunch of eaters
Are all my lovely litte Peters."

I love the house, built by the parents and the wonderful messy d├ęcor. Marla Frazee is a top rate illustrator (we have more of her books), she gives each of the Peter children such distinct personalities- the oldest fussy Peter, the girly Lucy, cut-up Jack always with his hat, tomboy Mary Lou, etc…

At crack of dawn they all began
To carry out their secret plan:
Mrs. Peters would be fed
A birthday breakfast in her bed!
A breakfast made of all the foods
That kept them in such happy moods.

The birthday cake recipe is a bit contrived, but the joys and fun of a big family are real.

And from that day to this, 'tis said,
The Peters family all is fed
A single simple meal- just one-
A meal that's good for everyone,
A meal on which they all agree,
Made from their secret recipe.

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