Once upon a time, on a long, slow trip to Scotland, a little girl named Katerina-Elizabeth tossed her oatmeal overboard again, and again, and again. She was a picky eater, and oatmeal was her least favorite food. And once upon a time, a small worm, no bigger than a piece of thread, swam alongside an ocean liner bound for Scotland and ate bowl after bowl of tossed oatmeal. He had never tasted anything as wonderful as oatmeal in his whole life. A. W. Flaherty and Scott Magoon unravel the Loch Ness legend in this whimsical picture book for the picky (and not-so-picky) eater in all of us.
Marbled endpapers paired with sepia-tinted illustrations help to create an old-fashioned setting for this timeless tale that is set in the days when people wore greatcoats and hats and traveled on ocean liners. A girl is traveling alone to visit her grandmother in Scotland. Trouble arises when she tosses her dreaded morning oatmeal overboard, only to attract the attention of a tiny sea worm that gobbles it up and immediately quadruples in size. With endless meals of oatmeal tossed overboard, the creature grows larger and larger as does its friendship with the child. Once the ship arrives in Scotland, it proceeds up the River Ness. This pourquoi tale about how the Loch Ness Monster came to be has a lot of imagination and wonderful storytelling techniques. Dark, cartoonlike watercolors exhibit an excellent use of perspective. The simple, yet quirky narrative is nicely paired with a clever and creative layout. A folksy tale that should enjoy broad appeal.