Friday, January 28, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration - Book Twenty-Eight

Being an only child, I never had to share a room with siblings, but I still sometimes had a hard time finding a place where I could have some peace and quiet. People imagine that children want to be busy all the time, but often they enjoy having a little down time in their own company. In this amusing picture book, we meet a girl who has to go to extremes to have a little quiet time on her own.
Lauren Child
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Candlewick, 1999, 0-7636-0961-7
   Clarice Bean would like to have “peace and quiet,” but this is very hard to find in her house because it is full of people. Clarice has to share her room with her little brother Minal Cricket, and you can just imagine what that must be like.
   Then there is Clarice’s sister Marcie. She has a room of her own, which means that she can have “peace and quiet whenever she wants.”  Clarice’s brother Kurt also has a room of his own. According to Mom, Kurt is “in the dark tunnel of adolescence,” which means that he hardly ever speaks, and he stays in his room a lot with the door shut.
   Dad is really lucky because he can be alone when he goes to work. If he doesn’t want to be disturbed, Dad tells Ms Egglington to tell everyone that he is in a meeting. Clarice is sure that Dad is actually eating rocky road ice cream and listening to Frank Sinatra on the stereo.
  Even Mom is able to get a little peace and quiet when she needs it. She goes into her bedroom and “balances on one leg,” or she has a bath.
   Clarice tries to get some peace and quiet in the yard, but the boy who lives next door is always calling over the wall in a very loud voice. He is so very annoying.
   Finally Clarice snaps, all hell breaks loose, and Clarice finds out that there is one thing she can do that will guarantee that she gets that precious peace and quiet she is looking for.
   Anyone who shares a house with lots of people and who wishes for a little space and quiet will immediately sympathize with Clarice Bean and her problems. With wonderful multimedia collage art on every double page spread, and a deliciously quirky text, this is a picture book that children will come back to again and again. 

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