#403 – The Adventures of Tomato and Pea #1: A Bad Idea By Erik Weibel



The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea

By Erik Weibel


4 Stars


Back Cover:  For years the evil villain Wintergreen has tried to destroy super crime-stopper, Tomato, and his sidekick, Pea, and take over planet Oarg.  In a plan gone wrong, Wintergreen traps himself along with his arch-nemesis in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called “EAR-TH”.  Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world.  Hungry birds, enormous snakes and the giant inhabitants of EAR-TH stand between this brawling bunch of aliens and finding a way home.

Opening:  The rookie was preparing to sneak out of his room, even though he knew it was against regulations.  He had overheard the plans for the mission.  Plans that he knew wouldn’t work, but no one would listen to a mere rookie.

About the Story:  Super-hero Tomato wins an all-inclusive space cruise for himself and three companions.  The next day he and his best friend and sidekick Pea, Skew a cook, and Poppy Lobster, a mailman board the S.S. Poofy.  Tomato’s arch-nemesis, Wintergreen, a failed O.L.E. agent, has lured the crime-fighters on board with the intention of sending them into a black hole from which they can never return.  Alas, things go awry and Tomato and his crew become stuck on the ship with Wintergreen and his crew of three.  No one can control the spiraling ship and it soon crashes onto an unknown planet called EAR-TH.  If any of the eight want to get back to Oarg, they will need to work together, with one leader.  Can they do this?  Who will lead this mix of agents of good and doers of evil?  Can they survive on this unknown planet?

What I Thought:  First, what I did not like.  The prologue is confusing.  Wardoes have taken over enough of the planet Oarg to the point that the military has given up, saying there was nothing they can do.  The government is not working.  Rookie Tomato sneaks out, saying he has a plan.  The prologue ends with Tomato jumping out of a bay door.  Then Pea, the narrator says,

You see the trouble all started back on Oarg . . .  

This tells me that we are going back in time before the Wardoes have taken over and before rookie Tomato has jumped from that bay door, but we don’t.  Instead, A Bad Idea picks up with a mature Tomato playing cards—Go Fish—with Pea, his best friend and sidekick.  Pea describes Tomato as looking older than his years,

. . . maybe because of all that he has been through.

The story has jumped ahead in time.  The rookie Tomato as since vanquished the Wardoes from Oarg, making the Wardoes irrelevant to the current story. Get rid of the prologue.  There are also a few punctuation errors.

What I did like about The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea is the intergalactic story of unusual proportions.  On EAR-TH, the mixed crew finds a planet of giants, even baby birds tower over the Oarg residents.  I like the humor in the story.  Another time, when they learn where the ship will crash, Skew remarks,

O-HI-O sounds friendly.

A Bad Idea is peppered with bits of humor, some of it very smart, and some  (smarter), reminiscent of Monty Python.  There are some very positive themes in the story.  The group must cooperate, have some patience, learn to get along, and Tomato, the hero, refused to leave his sworn enemy behind when the evil-smidge became trapped by a rat.

The story of the failed space cruise that crashes on EAR-TH, in my state of O-HI-O—a friendly place—is good.  The writing is tight, the plot stays on course (no pun intended), and it is enjoyable.  The characters come alive in all the action that is packed into this book.  Visualizing each character is easy given the details laid out for each. Details are so descriptive, you will feel like you’re bouncing around space, just missing a black hole, crashing onto a rooftop, falling into a tree, a bush, a hole, and finally hiding in a hole of a building, which just happens to be one of the author’s favorite places:  a public library.   The crashing scene was both intense and funny.

A Bad Idea  appears to be a series.  The ending left the reader with a question, rather than a conclusion.  Will EAR-TH . . . aw crud, I’m sorry, I cannot tell you how it ends.  For his debut, eleven-year-old Erik has written a smart story.  Kids who like fantasy will enjoy A Bad Idea, which I think is a good idea.

I must disclose that I have known Erik these past three years and he is becoming a force to watch when he picks up a pen.  We will be reading a lot of Erik’s work in the years to come as his writing matures.  The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea will not be his best work, but he can look back on it fondly as a grand start to what will surely be a grand career.



Erik is an eleven-year-old sixth grader that loves to read, write, and review books.  He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books when he was nine.  Erik writes a monthly book review column for a local free newspaper, which you can read on his blog each month. Erik 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.

Erik’s book is available at Amazon US, Amazon UK, and Amazon Canada, plus CreateSpace.

Blog:  http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/ThisKid_Erik

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Thiskidreviewsbooks


The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea

By Erik Weibel   website    blog    facebook    twitter


Released August 8, 2013

ISBN:  978-1-49120106-0

72 pages

Ages:  5 – 10


© 2013 by Erik Weibel







Debut Author ERIK WEIBEL’s Book Tour

September 8th 

my (Erik’s) blog http://thiskidreviewsbooks.com/ – cover reveal and announce blog tour

September 9th 

Michelle Isenhoff’s blog http://michelleisenhoff.com/ – Book review

September 10 

KidLit Reviews http://kid-lit-reviews.com/ – Book review

September 11th 

Mother Daughter Book Reviews http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/ – Book review

The Story Readig Ape http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/ – Guest post by me (Erik)

September 12th 

Catherine Johnson’s Blog http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/ – Book review

September 13th 

Julie Grasso’s Blog http://www.whenigrowupiwannawriteakidsbook.blogspot.com.au/ – Book review

By Word of Beth http://www.bethstilborn.com/ – Book review and giveaway

September 14th 

Diane Tulloch’s blog http://thepatientdreamer.com/ – Book review

September 15th 

Picture Books Help Kids Soar http://viviankirkfield.com/ – Book review

September 16th 

Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog http://susannahill.blogspot.com/ – Interview – Q&A with Commenters and giveaway

September 17th

Reading with Rhythm http://readingwithrhythm.wordpress.com/ – Book Review

September 18th 

Julie Rowan-Zoch’s blog http://julierowanzoch.wordpress.com/ – Interview

September 19th 

Dr. Nana Plum’s (AKA Dr. Niamh Clune) http://ontheplumtree.wordpress.com/ – Book Review in rhyme 😀

September 20th 

S.W. Lothian’s blog http://swlothian.com/ – Book review


24 thoughts on “#403 – The Adventures of Tomato and Pea #1: A Bad Idea By Erik Weibel

  1. Pingback: The Adventures of Tomato and Pea Blog Book Tour | Picture Books Help Kids Soar

  2. A lovely, honest review! We really enjoyed Erik’s book. My DD (10 y.o.) thought it was amusing. She also wouldn’t have a clue about Monty Python humor if mentioned to her. Well, I think she remembers us explaining it here and there but they aren’t exactly skits/shows my young child watches. 😉 Erik, this is what you get for being so mature for your age. Hee hee. Such pressure to know everything. Seriously, though, a fabulous first book and we can’t wait for Book 2.
    ~Cool Mom/Christine M.
    Tech Support/Assistant to Stanley, Katrina & Neighbor Girl


    • Hi Cool Mom, I believe this is the first time you’ve commented and I want you to know I appreciate you taking the time to do this, especially for Erik. Looks like Erik’s book is a bonafide hit and the tour has “only just begun.” (Carpenters 1970s). 😀


      • Hi! I have followed your blog for quite some time. I have a hard time getting comments out for the blogs I follow as those crazy pets keep me busy working on their site but there are times I must,must, must comment – like for “Super Kid” Erik! 🙂 Love your blog. Keep up the great work.
        ~Cool Mom/Christine M.
        Tech Support/Assistant to Stanley, Katrina & Neighbor Girl


  3. Why am I not surprised that SuperKid is now a published book author? Spectacular Erik! Your parents must be very proud! A very constructive review Sue!


    • Thank you Lobo! “Super Man” now “Super Kid” boy, Erik has some wonderful fans. I do know that his parents are proud of him and extremely supportive of Erik and his artist sister. They are doing something right to have two well-adjusted, creative, well-mannered, . . . children! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂


  4. Great review, Sue. Great debut, Erik. I really like the theme of this book. I think Erik’s imagination is extremely healthy and he is very wise for his years. I will be reviewing this book in a few weeks on my blog site.

    Keep up the great work, Erik. You are amazing!


  5. Wonderful review (#399 Wow!). Erik is amazing and I am excited to read this book as well as future works. He is a super young man and I wish him the best of luck.

    Paul R. Hewlett


    • Oh, Super Man. He’ll like that. Thanks for the compliment, but it all goes to Erik. I can only review as well as the book. Good book, good review. Thanks! 🙂


  6. You’re off to a great start Erik! I like the honest feedback you’re receiving. It will be helpful in your forthcoming books. You have a bright future ahead of you no matter what you choose to do!


  7. Good review as always, Ms Morris! this blog tour is off to a good start!! I like the Monty Python comparison! The humans around here are always spouting Monty Python and I think you might be right that Erik is kind of channeling them. Erik, I can’t believe you don’t know Monty Python! You need to check them out!


    • Yeah! How can Erik write so Monty Pythonish and not know who they are, or was it one guy? No it was a group of comedians. I think. It could have been one guy with the name Monty Python and other guys supporting him. No, it was a group. ❓

      Oh, Rhythm, throw me a bone here. Was it a group or one guy?

      Well, I guess there is only so much Erik can store in that fantastic brain of his. I really think the kids you read with would love this book. Thank for supporting Erik with a comment. 🙂


      • Monty Python was a group of silly guys including John Cleese and Michael Palin and some other guys. My brain has absorbed all sorts of Python stuff over my short life. And I’m taking Erik’s book to school tomorrow!


  8. Thanks Ms. Petrillo! (and Cupcake) 😀
    Thank you Ms. Morris, for a 4 Star review! Just wanted to say – Wintergreen, well, he was never an O.L.E. agent. Mostly because of his school records. 😉 I am glad you liked the humor in the book (who is Monty Python?)! I did already correct a couple of punctuation errors and an “agree” that should be “agreed” in the uploaded version on Amazon and Createspace (sorry you got the early version 😉 ). Thank you for being part of my tour and giving me your honest opinion!


    • Thanks Erik. Take a look at the back cover. It needs fixed, unless you’ve done that. I thought Wintergreen was a good guy but couldn’t keep up with Tomato so he dropped out and became a villain. I didn’t catch anything about school records. I am going to go back and reread this again. Wait, is that you’re sneaky plan all along? To get me to read your book for a third time? Oh, you’re good! 😆

      I’m sorry, Erik. If I’d know I’d gotten an early, uncorrected release — an ARC, I would not have mentioned any punctuation problems. I thought this was your finished book.


  9. Sounds like a great start for Erik. I agree with you, Sue. This Bad Idea is a good idea! I can’t say I’m surprised that Erik would create a story about leadership and learning to get along. I think he’s probably pretty skilled at all that himself.


    • You’re right. He did what aspiring authors are always told to do: what about what you know. Erik is an author we all need to keep watching. I think a Pulitzer, Newbery, or even a Nobel Prize will be Erik’s one day. He has a bright future. His parents are very supportive of Erik and his sister Josie, so that is helpful. I think they have raised two super kids. 😀


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