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The Runaway Pea

Illustrated by Alex Willmore
LIST PRICE $17.99

This silly and quirky dinnertime caper about a rebellious pea’s adventures shows what can happen when you take your eyes off your food—perfect for fans of Sue Hendra, Paul Linnet, and Jory John!

It’s time for dinner, but one pesky pea has decided to roll himself off the plate in search of a party! The rogue pea shoots, flings, and bounces across the kitchen as he embarks on his perilous adventure. But will he find the fun he is looking for, or is the kitchen a scarier place than he thought?

Kjartan Poskitt’s books have been translated into thirty languages and include the Murderous Maths series, as well as books on space, puzzles, and magic. He has also written funny children’s fiction including Urgum the AxemanBorgon the Axeboy and the Whispering Temple, the award-winning Agatha Parrot series, and The Runaway Pea.

Alex Willmore is an illustrator/designer whose passion lies in character design. Born in Northampton, England, Alex has been drawing characters since the moment he first picked up a pencil. A love of animals and picture books have inspired him and led to a career in illustration. Alex has been twice nominated for the Sheffield Children’s Book Award, was long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal 2020, and is currently nominated for The Federation of Children’s Book Groups Children’s Book Award 2020.

Can a legume on the lam ever find its hap-pea-ly ever after?

Dinner may be on the table and ready to go, but for one little pea, the adventure has just begun. Despite the protestations and mockery of the food left behind, the runaway pea “ping[s] off the plate” and into a series of unfortunate events. Without intending to, the pea plops into a dollop of sauce, tumbles into a dog bowl, is flung into an aquarium, avoids a mousetrap and a spider web—and that’s just for starters! As the pea’s adventures grow increasingly arduous, he finally rolls under the fridge, where the desiccated fruit he meets there tell him that now that he has touched the floor “you’re not loved anymore.” But what’s this? Could there still be a satisfying ending in store for this little green miscreant? This chipper British import keeps the action high as the pea pinballs from catastrophe to calamity. Clever perspectives amp the slapstick, and the anthropomorphic pea—he has two wide eyes and a mouth but no limbs—is surprisingly expressive. Expert rhymes scan without strain, keeping the merriment high (with the help of the occasional butt joke). Even if peas aren’t any particular child reader’s favorite food, the twist at the end may encourage budding gardeners to experiment with some plantings of their own. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Don’t play with your food. Find food at play! (Picture book. 3-6)

– Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2021

More books from this author: Kjartan Poskitt

More books from this illustrator: Alex Willmore