The Boy Who Ate Flowers
Nancy Sherman ~ pictures by Nancy Carroll
Platt & Munk, 1960
Had no idea this book was as collectible as it is until I Googled it just now. I tried to find a reasonably priced copy to link to, but no can do. Though mine is without dust jacket, it's still in great condition with the pictures as vibrant and bright as they must have been on first read way back in good 'ole 1960. The story is wild and imaginative, while at the same time speaking to something most kids can relate...
So, there's this boy see, and he refuses to eat his oatmeal so his father insists...
"Your tummy's fine. It's not the heat. Until your oatmeal's eaten right, you'll get it morning, noon and night." At every meal three times a day poor Peter pushed the bowl away.
As you can imagine, the boy grows mighty, mighty hungry and while walking in the garden..One day some lovely flowers caught his eye. "How beautiful," he thought. "They look so nice, they smell so sweet. They must be good enough to eat."
With that he quickly plucked a white Chrysanthemum.....
And so begins the addiction. He loves the blooms so much his parents send away for a French chef named Algernon who's schooled in the culinary wonders of flowers. (Man, I need one of those.)
So Algernon cooked long and late, and Peter ate and ATE and ATE. He loved to have petunia stew with morning glories poached in dew, escalloped hearts of peony and forsythia fricassee.
After Peter has tasted every flower (almost) in the world, he finds his way back to a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Having a four-year-old self-proclaimed vegetarian in the house, I feel the parent's pain. There are only so many white beans your child will eat before the iron options run out. Easy to see why a few generations have fallen in love with these drawings, so if you stumble across a copy as I did, hold it close!