Cover image for If roast beef could fly
If roast beef could fly
Leno, Jay.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 27 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
Little Jay's mom is thrifty, his dad is extravagant, and Jay always seems to be caught in the middle.
General Note:
Includes sound disc of text narration by Jay Leno.

"Byron Preiss Visual Publications, Inc. book"
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 77836.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Media Kits

On Order



When Jay's dad--wanting to make a real statement with his next project--decides to build a super-sized barbecue patio, it will require help from nine-year-old Jay, his neighbors, and his border collie to get the job done.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Comedian Leno adapts a family-friendly stand-up bit for this pleasantly silly picture book. Dad, famous for his overblown projects, decides to build a patio deck and a giant barbecue rotisserie in the backyard. After a trip to the "Hardware Supermax store" ("Okay! We need five hundred bricks! Two hundred pounds of cement!" says Dad) and a few months of tinkering, his father unveils the rotisserie. As a giant roast beef turns on the spit for the Leno family's end-of-summer barbecue, young Jay's mouth waters. ("Juice is dripping! Fat is sizzling!... I'm dying to taste the roast beef.") Jay whips out his "secret weapon" a plastic comband repeatedly steals some drippings with the unorthodox implement. But to Jay's great dismay, the comb ends up stuck in the roast, prompting a chaotic and funny denouement. Though many youngsters will miss some of the humor that falls between the lines (which adults will enjoy), the wacky scenario is likely to keep children interested (especially young Jay's anxious look as he awaits the inevitable). Leno's talent for storytelling and affection for his family shines throughespecially on his CD recording of the text (packaged with the book). Whitehead (Red Foley's Cartoon History of Baseball) exaggerates the features and expressions of the characters in his crisply rendered watercolors, in keeping with the farcical tenor of the tale. Period details from automobiles and clothing to furniture add flavor. And his likeness of Leno basically a miniature version of the TV personality is particularly engaging. All ages. (Mar.) FYI: National laydown date is March 23. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-In this meager offering, a young narrator (a Jay Leno look-alike with short legs) describes his father, who likes to do things in a big way. Dad decides to build a patio complete with rotisserie, and the boy gleefully rides the wave of his enthusiasm. The narrative jumps from buying supplies to the advice of neighbors to the finished project and a final summer picnic. As a huge roast beef spins on the spit and everyone else goes inside, the boy is left alone with the "amazing spectacle." Touching the meat with his plastic comb, he licks the juices off it until it gets caught in the string around the beef and begins to melt. At the table, Dad tries to cut the roast, discovers the plastic, and throws the whole thing out the window, whereby it's caught in a flying leap by the dog. Fortunately, Dad's Italian relatives have brought "several different tons of food" and Dad, undefeated, is already dreaming up his next project. This book is mired in excess. The disjointed text relies on exaggeration to hook readers. Every scene is so over the top both visually and verbally that there's no subtlety of characterization or meaningful introspection. The garishness of the narrative is matched by the full-color, Mad Magazine-like illustrations where people appear as larger-than-life caricatures. Some youngsters may be carried along on the crest of this wave. More insightful readers will recognize the ensuing emptiness. A CD of Leno reading the story is included.-Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.