Creepy Pair of Underwear!

While out shopping for new underpants, Jasper Rabbit is lured by a display for Creepy Underwear: each pair is neon green and exhibits a Frankenstein's Monster-like face. What's not to love? Jasper convinces his mom to skip the tighty-whities and buy him a pair: "I'm not a little bunny anymore. I'm a big rabbit now!" He's excited enough to wear his Creepy Underwear to bed, but darned if their "ghoulish, greenish glow" doesn't start to freak him out.

Jasper tries, but there's no shaking these demon undies. He mails them to China, but the next morning they're in a box (with a pair of chopsticks) on his doorstep. He snips them to shreds, but there they are again, on a hook in his bathroom. It is indeed an "underwear emergency."

Aaron Reynolds will have readers at "underwear," and he'll hold on to them with Creepy Pair of Underwear!'s mix of humor, suspense and starter-level horror. If the story sounds reminiscent of a Twilight Zone episode, that quality is finessed in Peter Brown's cartoony black-and-white illustrations, which have that classic show's ominous gray cast; the stalker-like briefs are the pages' only source of color. But Creepy Pair of Underwear! has a purpose beyond titillation: Jasper, whom readers may know from Creepy Pair of Underwear!'s likewise shiver-inducing predecessor, the Caldecott honoree Creepy Carrots!, is testing the big-kid waters ("A grown rabbit couldn't be terrified of his underpants"). He must ultimately face off--and make peace--with the green menace all by himself. --Nell Beram, freelance writer and YA author

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