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The Last Peach

by Gus Gordon

Book list Do you dare to eat a peach? Certainly the endpapers of this book, which illustrate a variety of mouthwatering peaches, inspire one to do so. Two small, long-nosed insects contemplate the beauty of a particular peach (the very last one of the whole summer), which hangs on a tree above them. They decide they must eat it at once! But when a third green insect with top hat and cane arrives, he cries, Stop! You can't eat that peach! It's the last peach of the season. Hmm. Another tubby, winged character arrives, suggesting that the peach may be stinky and rotten on the inside. Ugh. Well, they could share the peach with all their friends . . . or one could keep it from the other and devour it. Suspense builds, and the magnificent peach remains hanging uneaten, to be admired for its beauty. Contrasting font colors make this a perfect read-aloud for more than one speaker. Collages of fragments of printed words in French, combined with artwork done in watercolor, crayon, and pencil, are surrounded by generous white space, which offsets the round, juicy, delectable peach and the somewhat wacky sartorial dress of the bug-eyed insects with humor and delight. The final surprise ending gives a subtle nod to the ephemeral nature of desire.--Lolly Gepson Copyright 2019 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly This existential meditation by Gordon (Herman and Rosie) deals with some big questions. Two wide-eyed insects contemplate a red-orange globe that hangs suspended amid green leaves. "Oh my," one exclaims. "Now THAT is a fine peach!" They begin the discussion agreeably enough ("Let's eat it. At once!"), but as others weigh in ("You can't eat that peach!"), attitudes shift to anxiety ("We would probably... get big tummy aches"), then to fantasy ("What if we ate it and could suddenly do magical things?") before spiraling into frank conflict: "''That is MY peach!' 'No, it's MY peach!''" Gordon composes leafy collage-style spreads in paper accented with snippets of vintage French type. The insects bear more than a passing resemblance to the clowns in Beckett's Waiting for Godot; one has a hat and a curling proboscis, while the other sports antennae and a red schnozz. In the wistful ending, the two friends decide that the object of their desire is too beautiful to eat, denying themselves the pleasure they've been anticipating all along. And after they leave, another surprise awaits readers. Some desires, this sly fable suggests, may be founded on illusion. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-In this picture book charmer, two insects spot a beautiful peach. They want to eat it, but a praying mantis announces that it is the last peach of the season. Another bug says it looks good, but it could be rotten inside. If they ate it, would they feel sick? The two main insects argue and debate, each one getting a different text font color to make the conversation parts clear. Is the peach magic? Should they share it with others? Perhaps write it an admiring poem? When they get into a physical fight over which one of them should claim it, they declare themselves unworthy, and then leave the peach alone. After they depart, the final image reveals a twist. The glowing orb they have been admiring is actually the sun, positioned so it appears to hang on a tree branch. The collage illustrations are made up of many different colors and types of paper that include words in French, while the end pages depict several varieties of peaches in a luscious photorealistic style. VERDICT Use with Du Iz Tak? and James and the Giant Peach to discuss conflict resolution or for a plant-themed storytime.-Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, -Richmond, VA Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Two motley insects contemplate eating the last peach of the season.Gordon presents children with a timeless, rather adult dilemma: how to act in the face of irresistible temptation. Here, two thumb-shaped flylike creaturesone dressed in a Homburg hat and blue-and-white-striped body suit, the other in a red print shirtencounter a sumptuous peach, rosy and golden as the setting sun, still on the branch, and begin to discuss its merits. "It's the most beautiful peach I've seen ALL summer," says the bug dressed in blue. "Wouldn't you agree?" "I do agree," responds the red-shirted friend: "In fact, it's the most beautiful peach I've seen in ALL the summers." The two quickly decide they "must eat that peach at once," but with one page turn, a venerable praying mantis, clad in top hat and cane, stops them, warning: "You can't eat that peach! It's the last peach of the season." In delightfully clever double-page spreads, the two friends then go back and forth, hilariously debating whether to devour the peach together or alone, to share it with others or to leave it entirely. Gordon's witty, collagelike mixed-media illustrations and spare, dialogue-only text not only get at the gnarly pit of indecisionserving up provocative behavioral binaries such as impulsivity versus reflection, indulgence versus sacrifice, hoarding versus sharingbut offer a surprise ending as well.Luscious, light, and thought-provoking: decidedly not to be missed! (Picture book. 3-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.