Creepy Carrots!

Creepy Carrots! 10 min. Weston Woods. 2013. ISBN 9780545623773, $59.95; CD, ISBN 9780545623780, $12.95; CD with hardcover book, ISBN 9780545623797, $29.95.
PreS-Gr 2—The video translation of this exceptionally illustrated book lacks some of the charm of the picture book, whose layout heavily contributes to its striking nature, but the addition of sound adds a delicious creepiness to this offering. David Mansfield has composed music that creates a tense atmosphere heightened by the striking of Psycho-esque strings and use of a theremin, often employed in science fiction and horror movies of the 1950s. Menacing, muted voices, and maniacal laughter also punctuate the soundtrack. Narrator James Naughton hams it up with a highly dramatic delivery. The book and CD combination eclipse the DVD version because of the latter's disappointingly flat animation, which sadly does not evoke the rounded depth of the original illustrations. Despite this shortcoming, viewers will enjoy this version of the absurdly humorous story made spookier by the embellishments of sound. The best feature of the DVD is a visit to "The Creepy Carrots Zone," that parodies The Twilight Zone television series, where illustrator Peter Brown talks about his process. Viewers are treated to a look inside his sketchbook and can trace the development of his concept. Brown confides that the book's creepy atmostphere was inspired by many early sci-fi and horror movies and posters.—Constance Dickerson, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, OH

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