A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dish and Spoon tread on the seamier side of nursery tales. Loan-sharking, bank robbery, and criminal threats result in deportation and prison. While the criminal element may be too much for some families, it's important to note that Dish and Spoon are held responsible and do pay their debt to society.
What's the story?
Is it any good?
Parents who expect something in line with the original nursery rhyme will be surprised. This is more Mother Goose meets Law & Order, albeit a G-rated version.
Though the villainous slant will turn off some parents, many will enjoy it for the sumptuous and amusing illustrations. There's a lot to explore on every page spread; if kids keep their eyes open, they can catch cameos from other "Hey Diddle Diddle" cohorts. It's interesting to note the way money is treated in the pictures -- from the overflowing edges when Dish and Spoon are living the high life to the scattered broken remains when they bottom out at the mercy of the loan sharks.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the actual nursery rhyme first so kids know the roots of this fast-paced adventure. They can also talk about where Dish and Spoon made their mistakes. How many opportunities did they have to make different choices? What could they have done instead?