Friday, October 21, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book two hundred and ninety-four

When you first become a parent, you imagine that your job is - among other things - to teach him or her right from wrong. You are the one who knows what is appropriate, and you are the one who lays down the law and who is always right. Wrong! The truth is that sometimes we parents make mistakes too, and when our children see these mistakes we have to have the courage to admit that we messed up.

In today's picture book you will meet a father who, like everyone on this planet, is not perfect. He has a habit that adversely affects the members of his family, and he has to learn how to say sorry and change his behavior.

Philip Waechter
Illustrated by Moni Port
Translated by Sally-Ann Spencer
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Gecko Press, 2011, 978-1-877467-71-4
   Helena lives in a little house by a stream with her mother, her father, and little brother. She has a wonderful life, playing her trumpet for her encouraging mother and patient brother. There is only one thing that spoils her happy existence, but it is a big thing. Helena’s father is a shouter, and Helena finds his shouting intolerable.
   In fact, she finds it so intolerable that one morning she packs her bag and she leaves home. Helena’s father comes from a long line of shouters, and Helena is determined that she is not going to become one too.
   Helena finds a kind woman to take her in, but back at home her parents are very upset. They go looking for Helen, asking people if anyone has seen their daughter. Helena’s father finally realizes that his shouting drove his daughter away. He starts talking softly and promises never to shout again if “only she’ll come home,” but he has no idea where Helena is.
   In this very special picture book young readers will meet a father who has to learn an important lesson, and a daughter who has to make a very difficult decision. Sometimes we forget that our actions can impact the people around us, but this book reminds up of this very important fact in an elegant and memorable way.

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