Saturday, November 26, 2011

The TTLG 2011 Picture Book Celebration: Book three hundred and thirty

Most of us have had to deal with a visitor or a house guest who likes to boss everyone around. They criticize the food, table arrangements, or decor, and then proceed to do things "properly" their way. If the guest is a child, he or she rearranges all the stuffed animals, takes apart the Lego city, reorganizes the tree house, or insists on hosting the doll tea party. There is no stopping people like this because they just don't get it that their interference is unwanted. 

Today's picture book will resonate with everyone who has suffered at the hands of a bossy person like this.

Christa Kempter
Illustrated by Frauke Weldin
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
NorthSouth, 2010, 978-0-7358-2320-4
   Wally the rabbit is out in his garden counting the carrots, when his friend Mae brings him a letter. Wally is dismayed when he reads the letter and learns that his Uncle Rabbit is coming to visit that very day. He and Mae are going to have to hurry up if they hope to have the house neat and tidy in time.
   When Uncle Rabbit arrives, he quickly makes friends with Mae, who is delighted to have someone new around to talk to. He just as quickly sets about giving Wally’s house a makeover. He makes new curtains and cushions, moves furniture around, and puts a weather vane on the roof of Wally’s house. Mae thinks that Uncle Rabbit is delightful, but poor Wally feels left out, and he also resents the way in which Uncle Rabbit is changing everything without consulting him. What is poor Wally to do?
   As they read this story, children are going to fall in love with Wally and his large bear friend. Who can resist Mae with her sticky honey-covered paws, and her rabbit friend who just wants things to stay the same.
   With sensitivity and humor, Christa Kempter and Frauke Weldin take a look at what it feels like to be bossed around and ignored. Children will appreciate that Wally has been put in a difficult position, and they will surely sympathize with him. 

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