Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Shivers in the Fridge

The Shivers by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky is a very clever story about a family of magnets who accidentally get placed into the fridge rather than on the outside. The inside of the fridge is portrayed as a very cold and scary world where monsters (People) frequently visit and cause earthquakes. One by one the Shivers are pulled out of the fridge by the monsters in creative ways related to food. The Grandpa goes out to search for a warmer place and gets stuck to the top of a ketchup bottle. Mama gets stuck in a warm bowl of jello! Be sure to notice a clue as to how the Shivers find their way into the fridge on the page before the title page. When you are finished reading, pull off the dust jacket to discover one of Paul's first ideas for the cover of the book. View it's opposite on the back cover of the book!
I have been noticing that his artwork for this book has drawn some mixed reviews. Although the artwork in this book diverges from his usual work, I appreciate an illustrator that takes risks and tries new techniques. I purchased this book at the Keene State College Literature Festival in October. Paul was a guest speaker and did some on the spot illustrations of the characters using his computer drawing software (?Adobe) and a stylus and pad.
He also mentioned how he went to the grocery store to get his creative "juices" flowing! I can appreciate that as I view the mushroom fire hydrant and the ginger dog on each page.
As for a kids response to this book, my kids love it. I think it is the suspense of finding out what they already know, that the Shivers are only magnets placed accidentally in the fridge. As an extension to reading the book, my kids and I made a bowl of green jello! I just wish we had our own little set of the Shivers to add to our refridgerator.

For Related Reviews:

Mother Reader

A Fuse #8 Production

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

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