Title: Nothing Rhymes With Orange
Author/Illustrator: Adam Rex
Published: Chronicle Books, 2017
As you might know, I am Canadian. Today is Canada Day and that means it’s time to show off your knowledge of moose trivia and Tragically Hip lyrics (kidding…sorta). I am proud to be Canadian, especially these days with the world being as it is. Canada is a diverse country full of awesome people. We enjoy free healthcare, good schools and more lakes than you can shake a stick at. So happy Canada Day, fellow Canucks!
Now, our review doesn’t really have much to do with Canada Day. I have some Canadian books coming up, don’t worry…but today my girls begged me to read a book we got from the library. A book about an orange.
Before I get to the review, I have a question: Adam Rex, where have you been all my life? After reading The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors (and loving the art), I was delighted to find a book that Mr. Rex both wrote and illustrated. And it is hilarious.
Nothing Rhymes With Orange follows poor Orange, the fruit that always gets left out of rhymes/songs because of his un-rhyme-able name. He listens to the other fruit talk about how fantastic they are. (“And these grapes are wearing capes because they’re super good to eat.”) He keeps mentioning the fact that he’s around, in case anyone needs him for anything.
No one does.
It seems EVERY SINGLE OTHER FRUIT gets featured in this story. There’s a quince! A current! Heck, they talk about a kumquat! But poor Orange just sits on the sidelines, watching.
Then Friedrich Nietzsche shows up. Yes, you read that right. Friedrich Nietzsche.
I actually burst out laughing the first time I read this story. It is so bizarre and unexpected.
The story is wacky, strange and very, very funny. I don’t want to give away too much about the ending, but suffice it to say that Orange finds his place in the rhyme (they make up a word for him).
The art reminded me very much of the fruit books done by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers. Adam Rex uses actual fruit and adds adorable faces. I fell in love with the Quince, for real. The braces just…I don’t know, it’s like looking at a 12-year-old version of myself.
I read this during dessert tonight and we did a round table of opinions with my girls and my husband. Here’s a (close-to-accurate) transcript:
Mama: So, what did you guys think of the book?
Husband: I liked it, but I felt that the orange’s interjections, while funny, kind of took away from the flow of the story.
Vivi: I also felt that. I liked the orange a lot, though. I think he should’ve been the first character you met.
Mama: He kind of was, like he was on the inside cover page.
Vivi: That’s not really part of the story, though. It hadn’t started yet.
Lily: I liked the part where they were all having a party! It was great!
Mama: Grades, everyone?
Lily: I LOVED THE ORANGE!
I think we have a winner. Pick up Nothing Rhymes With Orange and prepare to be delighted.