Shivers in the Fridge

Shivers in the Fridge by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky.

I consider this one of the best picture books of the year.  I love its rather twisted concept which is matched by the illustrations by Zelinsky.  It reads aloud like a folktale with repetition, but has a unique setting and modern feel.

Papa Shivers, Mama Shivers, Grandpa and Grandma Shivers and Sonny Shivers all live in the cold and dark.  Occasionally a monster with long claws appears along with a huge light and snatches something out of their world.  As children listen to the story, they will soon realize that the Shivers live in a refrigerator and that the monsters are really humans.  But what are the Shivers and why are they in the fridge?  And what happens when the humans discover them?

This story builds and builds towards a final moment that is hinted at more and more clearly throughout the book.  Adults may pick up on it quickly, but children who are not trying to solve a mystery will just go along with the story and be happily surprised at the end. 

This is such a successful book with great language, nice pacing and wonderful illustrations.  It is a read aloud to share with kindergarteners and first graders who may wonder what is shivering in their fridges at home.

2 thoughts on “Shivers in the Fridge

  1. I am so glad to see your review of Shivers! I also loved this book, and thought it to be one of the most original ideas to come along in ages. It is my favorite book of 2006 and it was MY nominee for the Cybils. I loved the text and I loved the art, and found the humor to be good for kids but very dry and enjoyable for adults, as well.
    I attended the Keene Festival and Paul O. Zelninsky was there to make a presentation. It was nice to hear from him regarding this book.
    I blogged about the book myself after I heard him speak. Gave it my highest rating: “Wish I Had Made This Book!”

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  2. Great nominee for the Cybils! Too bad it didn’t make it to the finals… I agree that it is really one of the top books of the year. And Zelinsky’s vision of the fridge is what creates such a real world to immerse yourself in.

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