Monday, November 19, 2018

Review: Good Egg and Bad Apple by Henry Herz

by Henry Herz
Illustrated by Luke Graber
Schiffer Publishing
Picture Book
ages 4 to 8
32 pages

Not all the foods in the refrigerator get along like peas in a pod. The vegetables are steamed, and Bad Apple and Second Banana are the problem. Good Egg suggests his friends try different responses to these two bullies. They try hiding, then standing their ground. At first, Good Egg's tactics don't bear fruit. Only by using his noodle does Good Egg avoid getting scrambled and save his friends' bacon. In this story told on two levels, young readers will be entertained by the hijinks of the anthropomorphic food characters and will appreciate the allegory about not letting one bad apple spoil the bunch. Adult readers are served plenty of food for thought with hilarious gastronomical idioms and puns. An author's note explaining all the wordplay adds English language educational opportunities.


Packed with vegetable idioms, this is a book with sour feelings and sweet ways to make things better.

Bad Apple is sad no one wants to play with him, so he teams up with Second Banana to give the rest of the fridge a hard time. He has the rest of the food cowering in fear and hiding. Until Good Egg has an idea.

The first thing to keep in mind before opening this book is that it centers on idioms. On purpose. At the end of the book, there's a list of the idioms, what idioms are, and what the idioms used in the book mean. If the book is read without realizing this, it comes across a little awkward at times.

The tale starts off quickly and steers right into Bad Apple's taunting of the other food items. Bad Apple doesn't have any good qualities and slips right into the bully role, showing no mercy. It makes him easy to dislike, and he appears to have no redeeming qualities. Although it's quickly mentioned that he does this because nobody wants to play with him, it would have been helpful to have a page of backstory to give him a splinter of sympathy. In any case, the message of bullying plays out loud and clear, especially Good Egg's solution comes across very kind...if not one-sided. But all of this slides in fine as the idioms play out and bring across the impressions they should. Young readers will pick up on these word plays and enjoy the humor along with them.

The illustrations are bright, bold and bring the food to life. Each one has a distinct personality and is fun to look at. Young listeners are sure to find their favorite food character and want to read the tale again. 

And here they are...

The Author...
Henry Herz earned an engineering BS from Cornell University, an engineering MS from George Washington University, and a political science MA from Georgetown University—none of which help him write picture books. Henry authored the picture books Mabel and the Queen of Dreams, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes, When You Give an Imp a Penny, Little Red Cuttlefish, and Cap'n Rex and His Clever Crew. He's a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Henry hosts a KidLit blog at He moderates fantasy and science fiction literature panels at San Diego Comic-Con with New York Times bestselling authors, and moderates children's literature panels at WonderCon with Caldecott, Newberry and Pura Belpre Honor-winning authors and illustrators.

The Illustrator...
Luke Graber has a BRA in illustration from the Cleveland Institute of Art. While new to the traditional publishing scene, he's had involvement with a handful of self-published works over the past several years. When Luke isn't illustrating for books, he operates as a freelance illustrator and animator on various collaborative projecs. His other picture book illustration credit is How the Squid Got Two Long Arms.

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