BOOKS

Who's the Grossest of Them All?

Who's the Grossest of Them All? illus. by Jake Parker. 40p. Random/Schwartz & Wade. Aug. 2016. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780553511901.
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PreS-Gr 2—A troll and a goblin, each convinced that he is the grossest creature in the forest, pose the title question to unsuspecting folks they happen to meet. Although both creatures are "utterly horrifying," a man decides that the troll's "puke-purple" skin makes him the most disgusting. Realizing that it's only one person's opinion and not a fair sampling, they ask an old woman passerby to decide between the two. Although both are "equally loathsome," she is forced into a decision once the goblin starts making rude noises with his hand in his armpit. Now tied at one vote each, Goblin and Troll query a little girl. Dressed in a familiar hooded red cape and carrying a basket, the girl begins to pick her nose while she is pondering her answer. As the green nose slime on her fingertip gets bandied about in their faces and is finally wiped on the front of her dress, Troll and Goblin decide that she is the grossest creature of all. Repulsed, they run off, and the little girl skips homeward after happily declaring herself the "winner." The ink and digitally colored illustrations are full bleed, and the expressive faces add some humor.
VERDICT Although possibly useful in breaking the habit of a dedicated nose-picker, avoid maligning Red's character and skip this one.

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