Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown is a 2013 Caldecott Honor-winning picture book. We have a couple of Mr. Brown's books in the library (You Will Be My Friend! and The Curious Garden), so I knew his style, but I really enjoyed this collaboration with Mr. Reynolds.
I'm a fan of classic thrillers like Alfred Hitchcock movies, so I think the illustration style used by Peter Brown is perfect for the story. Jasper's obsession with carrots proves that there can be too much of a good thing. He picks and eats them constantly until they start following him. He sees them out in the shed, in the shower, in his room at night. But are they really stalking him? And doesn't that sound more like celery, anyway? The black and white used for everything except the carrots adds to the late-night horror movie vibe - and I never realized how menacing orange could look until I saw those carrots.
Adults will enjoy the nod to all those psychological thrillers and kids will love a story where vegetables are not good for you. Many of them will probably identify with Jasper's problem of seeing scary things that disappear when an adult turns the lights on or comes into the room. It's a fun read-aloud for everyone. We received a copy of this book from a DonorsChoose.org project over the summer.
The website for Peter Brown has information on all his books and a video trailer for Creepy Carrots. Author Aaron Reynolds also has a website with more information. (His book, Carnivores, that is coming out this month looks good.) There are some funny videos about the book. There is one with the illustrator Peter Brown talking about his inspirations for the artwork. Another from the publisher also talks with Peter and he says that eggplant is his favorite vegetable, but he has not had any trouble with eggplants stalking him.