Fiction: New Snack Attack

Tom Perrotta's new novel, "Little Children," appeared in March to glowing reviews. The critics loved his darkly comic story of what happens to a quiet suburb when a convicted child molester moves back to town. Then readers started loving it, too. The book has been back to press six times, with 95,000 copies now in print. But as St. Martin's Press, the book's publisher, discovered a few weeks after publication, not everyone was a fan. The folks at Pepperidge Farm, in particular, were unhappy--not with the book but with its cover, on which their Goldfish crackers were prominently displayed without the company's permission. According to Dori Weintraub, associate director at St. Martin's, Pepperidge Farm insisted that "those fish were their fish." St. Martin's could only agree. So "Little Children" got a makeover. The crackers were replaced by chocolate-chip cookies. And this time Weintraub made sure those cookies wouldn't make any trouble. "I baked them myself," she says.