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.