105 Ways to Give a Book

Shivers and Chickens

Last Monday, I listed some books that had come into my library. I said I’d be back later in the week with fuller reviews of the ones that I took home. Well, that didn’t so much happen. In my defense, I specifically didn’t promise, and last Tuesday I did manage to get in a post about the Charlie and Lola book. Remember? The one where my kids did the reading with British accents?

The Shivers in the FridgeSo, it’s really my own fault if Fuse#8 scooped me on The Shivers in the Fridge, by Fran Manushkin. In fact, I’m glad she did, because her review has only made my own thoughts on this book that much clearer. Really.

There’s a family living in the refrigerator. They are very cold and very alarmed by the monsters that keep grabbing things. They huddle together at night, and the mom tells the boy stories. One by one, they each venture out to find a better place and get taken by the monsters — or as we like to call ourselves, the people — until only the boy is left. Then it’s up to him to be brave and face the monsters himself.

As it turns out, the whole family are magnets. When they are taken out one by one, they are returned to their home on the front of the fridge, and there they are happy and warm. After we finished the book, my seven-year-old daughter asked me why the family is called the Shivers if they aren’t really meant to live in the fridge. And I don’t have the answer for her. I also don’t know why they didn’t recognize the people they must have seen in the kitchen. When I first read this book, I liked that I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t guess that they were a family of magnets. But, the story didn’t hold up to further readings. Plus, I wasn’t crazy about the illustrations.

Chickens to the RescueNow, Chickens to the Rescue was pure fun. The illustrations are cute and funny. The story is simple and silly. It takes place on a farm, and every time something goes wrong, the chickens rush in and save the day. Until the end... but you’ll have to read it to see what happens that day. This book would be fun at storytime with children chiming in on the chickens to the rescue refrain. As it turns out, Fuse#8 scooped me on this book too, but it was so long ago that it probably doesn’t even count anymore. Really.


Anonymous said...

Well, "Chickens" is just so fabulous that I'm pleased as punch that you chose to review it. Such a magnificent readaloud, that one.

Anonymous said...

As I commented on Fuse's site, too, I have tried and tried to like 'Shivers,' but it's the strangest book I've seen all year. And amen to that faulty premise you mentioned, which is the number one reason I don't like it. Don't like the art either. In fact, if I were a kid, those shiver folks would scare me. Just all-around disappointing to me, since I lurv Zelinsky.