This road trip book, packaged with a CD for the ride, begins when Victor Vito and Freddie Vasco leave their failed Klondike Cafe in search of zesty new foods from around the 50 states. Along the way, they stop in New Mexico for burritos, South Carolina for rutabagas and collard greens, and NYC's Little Italy for the spaghetti that made this song famous! In the end, when the townsfolk cheer the return of Victor and Freddie, kids and parents will celebrate, too, as their favorite song becomes their favorite new book!
Musician and children's performer Berkner (Victor Vito, Under a Shady Tree) adapts one of her fun-flavored tunes as a picture book. Unfortunately, what works so well as a catchy, silly sing-along in concert isn't as successful in print. Here, Victor Vito and Freddie Vasco take on the guise of two polar bears who own a caf in Alaska. With their customers tiring of the same old local fish fare, the duo decides to close up shop and travel the lower 48 in search of new taste treats and recipes. The trip is chronicled like so: "Victor Vito and Eddie Vasco/ ate a burrito with Tabasco./ They put it on their rice./ They put it on their beans/ on their rutabagas/ and on their collard greens." This verse, and the refrain, "Hey Victor!/ Hey Freddie!/ Let's eat some spaghetti," repeats several times, which makes for a scattershot plot. Finally, the bears return home with a revamped menu in mind. Cole's nimble watercolors bring readers on a quick coast-to-coast culinary adventure, clearly stretching the song beyond its borders. Humorous details include the friendly, lumbering Victor and Freddie loading up their Volkswagen Beetle with supplies, and the walrus cooks and seal waitresses back in Alaska reading postcards from their bear bosses. A CD recording containing Berkner's infectiously fun performance of "Victor Vito" and another of her original tunes, "Bumblebee (Buzz Buzz)," is included. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.