Turning the Tables: How Martha Saved Her Parents From Green Beans by David LaRochelle
EVERY TUESDAY EVENING MARTHA'S FAMILY HAD GREEN BEANS FOR DINNER.
EVERY TUESDAY NIGHT MARTHA WAS LEFT ALONE AT THE TABLE, STARING AT A PLATE OF GREEN BEANS THAT SHE WOULDN'T EAT.
No matter that Martha's parents tell her repeatedly that green beans are chock full of vitamins. No matter than she spends every Tuesday evening in the kitchen staring at green beans growing colder and limper, the strings curling loose along their sides, congealing on her plate, while her parents watch TV.
Martha just can't eat those green beans. They're BAD!
The resident veggie police are at their wits' end. Martha won't change her mind.
And, it seems, she has good reason. One day the green beans up and prove Martha's character analysis correct. A gang of muchtachioed desperado green beans appears, giant green meanies with gunbelts and hardened beady black eyes, bent on revenge for all those who had massacred their kind. They take over the town and take hostage anyone who had ever said "EAT THOSE GREEN BEANS OR ELSE!"
Martha is apparently the only citizen in the clear. She can honestly claim never to have endangered a single green bean.
At first a life free of the threat of green beans seems a boon. Martha stays up past bedtime, at liberty to munch all the chocolate chip cookies in the box. But still, they're her parents, and slowly it dawns on Margaret that she's the only one who can rescue her family from languishing in legume captivity forever. It's a true test of filial love.
But what can Martha DO to make the green beans disappear?
It's eat or be eaten, in David LaRochelle's How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans (Dial Books, 2013). As a victim of the childhood green bean wars myself, I shared picky Margaret's pain, left at the table with unwanted green beans growing less appetizing every second before my eyes. But like most of us, Martha learns to like, or at least tolerate, the loathsome legume in the name of family unity in a jolly little veggie tale, agreeably illustrated in clever comic style by Mark Fearing. School Library Journal serves up its own savory review, saying "With a wacky premise and a perfect tone, this saga is sure to please vegetable haters everywhere."
Pair this green bean epicurean epic with George McClements' little homily on the peas-full dinner table, Night of the Veggie Monster. (See my review here.)