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The Adventures of Tomato and Pea Book 1: A Bad Idea Paperback – Aug 8 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (Aug. 8 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1491201061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491201060
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,378,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Erik is an eleven-year-old sixth grader that loves to read. He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books when he was nine. Erik writes a monthly book review column for a local free newspaper. He has a black belt in TaeKwon Do and in his spare time enjoys building things out of LEGOs. He hopes to be an inventor and a published author when he grows up.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having met the author, Erik Weibel, a couple of years ago through his blog “This Kid Reviews Books“, I have been able to watch from afar his growth as a writer. Oh, did I say … Erik self-published his book when he was eleven – he is a twelve-year-old now. And I’m a little jealous.

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea is a fun, entertaining space adventure. Erik has a good handle on writing characters, dialogue, and word pictures. He adds in humour, characters with defined personality, and tension for a good storyline. Erik has paid close attention to enough detail to make this an interesting story to read and visualize.

The reader is presented with friends, enemies, a big problem – such as a spaceship crashing on the planet Ear-th – and further situations that challenge the tiny (only a few inches tall) space travellers. They learn friendship, cooperation, loyalty, integrity, which all are great lessons for children – and adults – and are delivered in a non-preachy way.

Erik Weibel has learned a lot from the tips and lessons he’s been able to receive via writing challenges and exposure. It is evident in this great little book, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, that his writing skill is beyond his age.

This book is for younguns’ … boys might enjoy it more but I’m not a boy and I enjoyed it, too! If it is read to a child who can follow along and understand the story it is easily suitable for as young as five – and upward. (My eight-year-old grandson has his own copy and is enjoying reading it.)

Although children should especially enjoy this one, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea written by Erik Weibel is a wonderful read for anyone – and encouragement for future young writers.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Who better to write a middle grade book than someone extremely well-read in the genre? Rule #1 of writing a children’s book: Know your target audience! Well, that should be an easy one for this 11 year-old author. Check! Rule #2: Read mountains of books in your genre. Um… have you visited Erik’s website (This Kid Reviews Books)? That kid READS! Check!

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea is a rollicking good time filled with imaginative characters, such as the 3 to 4 inch Smidges and the slightly taller at 10 inches Wardoes, from the faraway planet of Oarg, a conniving villain, Wintergreen who entertains grandiose plans to take over the planet (any planet), and plenty of silliness as these aliens unwittingly find themselves as miniscule beings on the planet Ear-th in an area known as O-HI-O.

I read this book aloud to my two children and I have to say that it is brilliant as a read-aloud book because there is so much dialogue and so much potential for providing animation with the dialogue. Let me illustrate. This is one of my favorite lines as Wintergreen is discussing his archnemesis, Tomato, with his henchmen:

“It’s all part of my plan to rid Oarg of that meddling Tomato. BLAH! TOMATO! He doesn’t even LOOK like a tomato!!”

In fact, as I was reading the book, I kept imagining children in each of the roles playing out each part. It’s just the kind of story you can imagine kids acting out in their backyard. While my kids did not officially review this book for our site, I can tell you that they were both laughing out loud while I was reading it. In particular, we all giggled everytime I had to read out the ship’s name: the S.S. Poofy!

I do have to comment about the cover (as feedback to middle grade authors).
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e28daf4) out of 5 stars 23 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d799690) out of 5 stars Kid-Pleasing Superhero Adventure Aug. 15 2013
By Michelle Isenhoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a teacher, I've read many stories written by children. As much as I like to encourage young authors, their creations can be tedious to wade through. That is NOT the case with 11-year-old Erik's new book, "The Adventures of Tomato and Pea: A Bad Idea." Yes, the plot involves superhero vegetables (they're Smidges, actually), which aren't usually my fare, but it's written so well, so professionally, that I'm not just celebrating this release as a teacher, I'm celebrating as a fellow author. (You may be familiar with Erik from his blog, This Kid Reviews Books.)

Tomato is the great crime-stopper from Oarg. He's a planet-wide superhero who single-handedly stopped an alien invasion. Now one of his own, a villain named Wintergreen, is seeking to eliminate him and conquer the world. Their misadventures, thanks to some of Wintergreen's bumbling cronies, crash land them on an unknown planet--EAR-TH. Will Tomato be able to stop Wintergreen? Will he be able to save his friends? Will he be able to return them home?

Tomato and Pea will delight a second through sixth grade audience. There's a big adventure going on here that involves cool techy gadgets like jetpacks, super charged StunGun 5000s, Enemy-Neutralizer ray pistols, and Chameleon Cloaks, not to mention the complex control panel of a spaceship named the SS Poofy (my kids LOVED that name). But what delighted me most was the artistry with which Erik related his story. Consider the following:

Light moments can make any book more fun, and this one is sprinkled with plenty of dry humor. For example, as they're about to crash land, Tomato asks, "Where are we going down?" "Somewhere called O-HI-O," I said. "O-HI-O sounds friendly."

Erik also gives his characters very distinct personalities. Pea is an over-packer who's ready for any situation. His gear--including a tuba--often sparks a smile and comes in handy in prickly situations. Poppy Lobster is a trivia lover who often spouts off random facts when nobody's really in the mood to listen to them. (He's also banned from the reference section of the library.) And Skew isn't a very good crime-fighting agent, but "he could make a stew out of a carrot, some rubber bands and a cardboard box and everyone would stand in line for it."

This young author also has a handle on creative word pictures. Here's a description of Sergeant Marsh (whose name is also well-chosen) by way of example: "Marsh was round like a ball that was starting to lose its air. Marsh's color made him look like a big mud-pie." Or this description of Pye: "His shape reminded Wintergreen of a crayon that was overused." Are you starting to get the idea that this 11-year-old doesn't really write like an 11-year-old?

Now take in this larger sample of Erik's detail and smooth writing style (and humor again):

"The electrical systems failed and everything went black. The ship shot through the air, bounced off of a boulder, shot through tree tops, skidded across several rooftops and crashed into the chimney stack on a building. The lower section of the ship was lost in the impact. Fortunately the upper section, containing the control room, was not severely damaged in the landing.

"After a few minutes a faint glow appeared in a corner of the control room. 'I knew these would come in handy,' I (Pea, the over-packer) said happily as I passed out glow sticks to the others."

And finally, Tomato and Pea resonates with some very positive themes like cooperation, friendship, trust, perseverance, second chances, and never leaving anyone--not even an enemy--behind.

I'll grant that not all adults will want to read through this space adventure, but I guarantee that the ones who do will be impressed. And I'm certain that other kids are going to eat this one up. Who knows what they like better than another kid? Two thumbs way up!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d79c900) out of 5 stars Outstanding Humor and Characterization. Can't Wait for the Sequel. Oct. 11 2013
By Timothy Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My goodness - what a fun read! I never would have guessed that this book was written by an 11-year-old, except that the book told me so in ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

"11-year-old Erik plans to eventually take over the world. Right now he's a bit too young, so he is spending time as a sixth grade student, book review blogger and hopeful writer."

Consider the opening lines of chapter 1:

"Wintergreen wasn't always bad. There was a time when he wanted to be a ballerina. But being the only boy who wants to be a ballerina was hard and the other Smidges at school...made fun of him. Oh, who am I kidding?!? He was always bad! ... Who am I? OH! Sorry, I forgot! My name is Pea and I am Tomatos best friend."

Here, Weibel turns the old platitude "wasn't always bad" on its head - to great comic effect. It made me laugh out loud, hooking me into the book immediately. Note also the engaging, natural-sounding language with which Pea introduces himself, and you already have a taste of the delights of this book.

I love the way Weibel uses comedy to develop his characters. For example, consider a couple of the lines Weibel uses to develop Wintergreen's character:

"Wintergreen...admired how his blue skin coordinated so well with the suit he had on. I'm more of a bluish green, he thought to himself."

The "bluish green" is exactly the type of thought that a vain person would have. Notice that Weibel does not come out and say, "Wintergreen was vain." Instead, Weibel SHOWS us Wintergreen's vanity.

Here's another example of Weibel showing rather than telling us that Wintergreen is vain:

"Wintergreen?... I thought this was a cruise for outstanding citizens, not outstanding criminals," Tomato said.

Wintergreen roared, "YOU DOLT! YOU HAVE NO - did you just call me outstanding?"

This is sophisticated writing!

In addition, Weibel writes with a fine sense of the ridiculous. For example, consider these lines:

"Welcome! Welcome! I am first mate Lefty here to show you aboard the S. S. Poofy!" Lefty announced through his megaphone.

"Lefty, we're standing right in front of you." I DON'T think the megaphone is needed."

Finally, Weibel ends the book with a real cliffhanger, making our mouths water for the sequel. After the S. S. Poofy crash lands on "EAR-TH," Wintergreen becomes a reformed character - until he speaks the last lines of the book:

"No defenses, pushover planet..." Wintergreen's face changed. "Spike, Lefty, Pye come over here! I have an idea! MWAHAHAHAHA!"

Congratulations to Weibel for writing such a fine book. I am convinced that Weibel will one day be a New York Times best-selling author, and I intend to follow his wonderful writing as his career develops. What a unique opportunity to watch a splendid child-author grow into a brilliant adult author.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7a3b94) out of 5 stars Fun book for kids written by an expert - a KID! Sept. 11 2013
By Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Who better to write a middle grade book than someone extremely well-read in the genre? Rule #1 of writing a children's book: Know your target audience! Well, that should be an easy one for this 11 year-old author. Check! Rule #2: Read mountains of books in your genre. Um... have you visited Erik's website (This Kid Reviews Books)? That kid READS! Check!

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea is a rollicking good time filled with imaginative characters, such as the 3 to 4 inch Smidges and the slightly taller at 10 inches Wardoes, from the faraway planet of Oarg, a conniving villain, Wintergreen who entertains grandiose plans to take over the planet (any planet), and plenty of silliness as these aliens unwittingly find themselves as miniscule beings on the planet Ear-th in an area known as O-HI-O.

I read this book aloud to my two children and I have to say that it is brilliant as a read-aloud book because there is so much dialogue and so much potential for providing animation with the dialogue. Let me illustrate. This is one of my favorite lines as Wintergreen is discussing his archnemesis, Tomato, with his henchmen:

"It's all part of my plan to rid Oarg of that meddling Tomato. BLAH! TOMATO! He doesn't even LOOK like a tomato!!"

In fact, as I was reading the book, I kept imagining children in each of the roles playing out each part. It's just the kind of story you can imagine kids acting out in their backyard. While my kids did not officially review this book for our site, I can tell you that they were both laughing out loud while I was reading it. In particular, we all giggled everytime I had to read out the ship's name: the S.S. Poofy!

I do have to comment about the cover (as feedback to middle grade authors). As we were reading the book, my son asked to see the cover and was disappointed to discover that there were no images of the Smidges, specifically Tomato and Pea. He desperately wanted to know what they looked like. So, just quick feedback to all middle grade authors, beause I see this time and time again: your cover should have illustrations of the main characters.

My Bottom Line:

This fun story is written for kids by a kid. The characters and story are unique and highly imaginative, the plotline is full of fun and silliness, and the cliffhanger at the end will leave kids wanting more. I would recommend this book to young boys aged 5+ as it can easily be read aloud. In particular, I think it would appeal to reluctant readers as well. Great job Erik!

* This book was provided to us by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest opinions. *
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d7a3df8) out of 5 stars A hilarious adventure Sept. 11 2013
By Jujuberry37 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Tomato wins an all inclusive space cruise to a fabulous destination ( he he ominous sounding) so he decides to take his best friend Pea and his other two comrades Skew and Poppy. Little did they know, if was merely a ruse, by their arch nemesis Wintergreen and his evil cronies. He he, I love the characters and names from the get go. I love that narrative style, like you see so often in animation which is just what kids like to read. The descriptions are really vivid and the glossary at the back made it so easy to adjust to this new world of Oarg. The author has a great imagination that comes across so well on the page, but what I love more than anything was the use of humour. As mentioned in the reviews prior to mine, the author is 11 years old and the humour is spot on to what kids in that age group would find funny.

Here are my some random lines, just to show you some of the comedy value:

"Wintergreen and Spike wore mustaches and Pye wore glasses that made it look like he had two eyes instead of one." Love it

"Skew replied, "That's great Poppy, but today is not Saturday, so it's not time for his shower."

"The minions at their work terminals must be doing something top secret, because the commander keeps SHUSHING them and won't allow them to communicate with each other" The Smidges take on the goings on in the Library that they landed in on Ear-th. Hilarious...

This was a quick and totally clean read, which as we have discussed so many times that kids love to be entertained and it doesn't take 500 pages to do it. I think this would be great as a read aloud so that the fantastic humour of the book can be demonstrated by the reader to the listeners.

Huge congratulations to the author, and I see there is room for a sequel, he he. Stay tuned for the next adventures of Tomato and Pea.

A thoroughly enjoyable story that will sure to entertain. I would recommend to ages 6-8

NB: A copy was provided to me by the Author in exchange for an honest review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e435c30) out of 5 stars Fun, Loveable Characters in a Grand Adventure Sept. 23 2013
By L. R. W. Lee, Author (LRWLee dot com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The Adventures of Tomato and Pea was a quick, fun read. I won't summarize the basic plot because that's already been done, but let me give my reaction to Erik Weibel's debut MG book. As I began reading, the first thing I noticed was the vivid character descriptions. As an example, "Spike was the shade of a green apple but he had black and gray spots tattooed all over him that made him look rotten." How great is that for one of the bad guys? The characters also had varied personalities that were effectively used throughout. From our hero Tomato to Poppy Lobster, Skew, the evil Wintergreen, Spike, Pye and the narrator, Pea, the author effectively revealed their unique personalities through action and events the reader could easily relate to: playing Go Fish, and sometimes hearing them complain when they didn't want to do something are just a couple examples. How true to life are these?

Although I think the author could have skipped the Prologue and woven the details revealed there into the story itself, this is a very minor point and considering he is eleven years old, this is a strong first offering. I can't wait to see how he develops.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars.

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