Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The Brothers Gruesome

The Brothers Gruesome

Fall 2000 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Susan Elgar
Illustrator: Drahos Zak
ISBN: 0-618-00515-3
Hardcover Price: $15.00
Talent abounds in both the virtuoso drawings and jaunty rhymed couplets of this tale of three awesomely ugly brothers and their insatiable appetites. “When their mother no longer could fill up their bellies,/They gobbled her up in her raincoat and wellies,”, the text cheerfully tells us. And while it is true that most small children delight in experiencing wickedness vicariously when it is safely confined to the pages of a picture book, one cannot help but regret that so gifted a duo has produced so one-note a work. At book’s end, the gruesome threesome is consumed (off-stage, thankfully) by a monster even “bigger, hungrier, and hairier.” Parents may well lament that the only lesson to be drawn from this spine-tingling romp is that we live in a monster-eat-monster world. An Australian import, it holds promise that Elgar and Zak may direct their considerable gifts to richer narrative material in future collaborations.
Selma G. Lanes   ©2000 Parents' Choice

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