Could carrots creep around the corner? In this 2013 Caldecott Honor Book the reader is led into the mind of a rabbit consumed by the thought of monstrous carrots. However, these are not ordinary carrots. These are the type of carrots that hide as orange toys, flowers, and tools. At least that is what young Jasper thinks. His parents on the other hand can not see the carrots lurking around the corner. Mom tells him that, “there’s no such thing as creepy carrots.” Dad shakes his head and explains that he is having bad dreams. What is a young rabbit to do when no one believes he is being stalked?
In this fun parody horror book by Aaron Reynolds the reader is provided with a background story about why carrots might stalk a young rabbit. The reader is left with just enough contradictions to wonder if Jasper is simply paranoid. This is due to the illustrations by Peter Brown which cleverly disguise the carrots as ordinary items that a child might see in everyday life.
Within the book’s pages dull grays are overshadowed by the orangey colors of carrots and non-creepy carrot like items. A game could be played of “if it’s not a carrot then what is it?” In which guesses could be made of what Jasper’s sees to what is really lurking on the next page. Children may also want to explore the irony of a rabbit fearing carrots. After all, don’t rabbits love their veggies? Another learning idea could include creating alternative endings to how Jasper conquers his fear of carrots.
Creepy Carrots! is a fun tale of how to come up with solutions, conquer your fears, and to believe in what you think is true. Geared for children in Pre-School-2nd grade it can be checked out at your local library or purchased at a local bookstore for around $16.99.