Thursday, October 6, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and seventy-nine

The moment when a child realizes that he or she is connected to others in many different ways is often quite dramatic. I remember when my daughter decided that she couldn't be bothered to pick up her legos (after I asked her to do so). Later that day I slipped on the legos and fell down. When she saw the cut on my leg and the bruises on my arm my daughter was horrified, and she tearfully promised never to "do that again."

In today's picture book you will meet a little boy who does whatever he pleases for much of the day, until he is made to see that being a pest and a nuisance is not cute or funny. In fact, it can really upset people. 

Tom MacRae
Illustrated by Ross Collins
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Andersen Press USA, 2011, 978-0-7613-8099-3
   One morning a little boy wakes up and instead of being a little boy, he is a large sleepy and sluggish hippopotamus. Since hippos “don’t get up in the morning,” the little boy doesn’t get up even when his mother warns him that he is going to be late.
   At the breakfast table the little boy is a robot, a robot who is not programmed to eat and who cannot eat cornflakes. Though his father tells him to “Come on! Eat up!” the boy (in his robot form) cannot understand what he is saying.
   In school, the boy is a monkey who not only climbs on a table, but he also talks back to his teacher when she chastises him for misbehaving.
   As his mood shifts from moment to moment throughout the day, the little boy changes from being a monster to a rocket, and from rocket into a giant, until he goes just too far. Which is when he gets a dose of his own medicine.
   All too often children do not realize that their actions impact others. They blithely go through their day doing whatever they feel like until something happens that shows them that their actions have a ripple effect.
   With delightfully funny illustrations and a bouncy rhyming text, Tom MacRae and Ross Collins help young children to better understand that they need to be aware of others as they go about their day.

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