Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book one hundred and sixty-five

Not long ago I was in the park watching a family enjoying a little time together. There was a little girl who was seven or eight years old, her parents, and her baby sister. The parents were cooing over the baby, praising her as she tried to crawl. The little girl watched these activities with a look of disgust on her face. I could tell that she was wondering why everyone was making such a fuss over the baby.

With this event fresh in my mind, I started to read today's picture book and it made me laugh. The main character in this story would have commiserated with the little girl in the park.

Lazy Little LoafersLazy Little Loafers
Susan Orlean
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Abrams, 2008, 978-0-8109-7027-4
   How do babies get away with it? How do they get away with basically doing no work at all? In fact, how do they get away with being downright lazy? These are questions that one little girl has been puzzling over for some time. As she walks to school one day, she considers that some of the babies she sees, some of the ones wearing sunglasses, might be working in show business. Though, there can’t be “many roles for chubby little people,” and we all know that cute babies doesn’t stay cute for long because they grow so fast.
   Okay, so maybe a few babies are actors or models. What about the ones that seem to think their job is to push their stroller around? For heaven’s sake! That does not qualify as a job. Nor does staggering around trying to walk.
   While she is crossing Central Park, the girl sees lots of babies “all loafing around and looking as happy as clams.” Here she is having to go to school in “back-to-school clothes and stiff new shoes” with a heavy backpack on her back, and all they have to do is to have snacks, wave at dogs, and hang out with their friends. How unfair is that! It is only when she gets to school that the real answer to her question finally comes to her.
   Any child who has envied a baby its easy life will thoroughly enjoy this clever picture book. They will completely sympathize with the girl narrator, and appreciate her decidedly annoyed tone of voice as she assesses the situation. The surprise ending is sure to make readers of all ages laugh.

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