Magic Pickle (Scholastic/Graphix)

mp-header.jpgA powerful pickle battles villainous veggies in this silly superhero series.



112 pgs. FC; $9.99
(W / A: Scott Morse)

The Magic Pickle, a fermented gherkin of tremendous power, was resting comfortably in his "cryogenic slumber" (a refrigerated pickle jar) for some 50-odd years. Then, the Brotherhood of Evil Produce struck at a helpless populace!

The cover to Magic Pickle by Scott Morse. Click for a larger image.The Phantom Carrot! Chili Chili Bang Bang! Peashooter! Squish Squash! And don’t forget the sinister madman known as the Romaine Gladiator, who wields a salad fork like a deadly trident! These rotten vegetables were running roughshod over humanity, and the stale, nasty flavor of their wanton destruction awakened the Magic Pickle.

Now, this noble cucurbit returns for a one-pickle war against crime. The fight scenes (food fights, literal and otherwise) are action-packed. The puns are noteworthy (e.g.—"Sweet Relish!"). The humor is adorable for readers young and old.

Through it all, Magic Pickle reluctantly squires about his human sidekick, Jo Jo. She’s a grade-schooler who, like her peers, is drawn ably by Scott Morse. The writer/artist does cute without making these kids look precious (actually, their faces are naked with emotion, as real children’s so often are). She’s a stand-in for the book’s junior readers, but Magic Pickle, with his grave, heroic pronouncements and stubby charm, is the scene stealer.

Magic Pickle rocked the fridge, but I hope he takes on some real villains next time. Beets, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower must be defeated. Those vegetables are yucky. | Byron Kerman

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