The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Alex Willmore

The Runaway Pea by Kjartan Poskitt, illustrated by Alex Willmore. Aladdin, 2021. 9781534490147

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book? An impish green pea pings off a plate in hopes of adventure. He encounters many different pitfalls – a dog’s tail, a fish tank, a toaster, and more – until he finally ends up under the fridge with some errant, moldy fruit. He acknowledges defeat, but finds new life in the compost heap as a new pea plant.

This is a rollicking, fun story told in rhyme, and the illustrator gives the pea so much personality (for a pea.) I loved watching its face – when its little pea cheeks are puffed out holding in breath under water, I laughed out loud. I love the inclusion of how a pea plant can grow so easily from a pea when planted.

Anything you didn’t like about it? The first stanza didn’t perfectly rhyme when I read it, but then I realized that the book was originally published in Great Britain. I amused myself by reading it out loud with a British accent and then “force” rhymed nicely with “sauce.”

To whom would you recommend this book?  There are so many fun picture books starring peas that one really can have an entire story time solely devoted to them. For ages 3-6.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review:  August 29, 2021

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