Spinach Dip Pancakes is a book of whimsical wordplay, playful poetry, and mixed-media art.
Kammeraad mixes photographic collages and cartoon images with poems, comics, and stories in this visually and verbally eccentric collection (an accompanying audio album is available). Throughout, he returns to variations on the lines “Anything is possible,/ anything at all,” moving from a position that “we can’t do it all” to “[we] don’t have to do it all.” A story about an aardvark, “inspired by three words, told in three sentences,” carries the implicit hint that readers could do the same. An ultra-brief poem “for the woodwind player” (“Pickle high. “Pickle low”) puns on the word piccolo, and in a comics sequence, two human girls morph into a cartoon bird and rabbit for a day of adventure. Not every entry hits its mark (Mr. E, a wooden robot of sorts, makes the bland observation that “It occurred to me that everyone is somewhere”), but a smattering of word pairs on the facing page built around opposites (crayon and crayoff, island and wasland, etc.) could easily inspire readers to come up with their own pairings. It’s a Dada-esque mix of silliness, wordplay, and outright nonsense. Ages 4–12. (BookLife)