From School Library Journal
, a girl enjoys dumping food items from the fridge and mixing them up on the floor. In Dressed
, a boy insists on dressing himself but puts his clothes on upside down or on the wrong body parts. In both cases, the parents patiently and lovingly explain what is tolerable behavior and what is going too far. Both children happily accept these boundaries. The pen-and-ink cartoons are simple and bright. The texts and art are playful and cheerful, and the layouts are clear. The books are best suited for families dealing with similar problems. In each one, a professor of child psychiatry describes the characters' actions in the story and explains why children need to pursue them. Some parents and caregivers will find these trite and patronizing; others will find them reassuring.–Amelia Jenkins, Juneau Public Library, AK
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PreS. This small, brightly illustrated book in the Just Being Me series, by the author of the classic It's Perfectly Normal
(1994) and the Growing Up Stories
series on child development, portrays a behavioral flashpoint from a child's first-person perspective. A note addressed to parents explains how the fictional scenario reflects an important developmental stage and discusses how parents might balance "enjoyment of their child's individuality . . . with the necessities of daily life." In the story a child exercises her creativity by making food into a "cold, wet, slippery, mushy, mess," then helps her exasperated but understanding father clean up. Although some adults may fear the willful, experimental acts depicted will be understood by children as carte blanche to act out, many others will appreciate the clear voice of reason ringing through the stories'humor and chaos--while children will simply exult in the silly fun modeled on the pages. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved