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What's So Bad About Being an Only Child? Hardcover – September 18, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR); 1st edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374399433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374399436
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,562,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Being an only child has its pros and cons, but for Rosemary, the latter outweigh the former. Always being the center of some adult's attention ("I am the honey in their hive") wears thin. The answer seems to be for her parents to have another child, but they aren't interested in that solution. Then Rosemary comes up with her own way to stop being an only: she begins collecting other singletons. Her first is just a rock. Then she adds a turtle, followed by a rabbit, a cat, and a dog. Before long, Rosemary, though still an only, is no longer alone. The story meanders, and Rosemary's heartfelt plea to be someone's sister is left hanging. But it's good to have a story that centers on the frustrations that can come with being the sole focus for parents. Blackall, who elevates everything she illustrates, has a knack for using clever details to get the humor across; here those touches are everywhere—in the costumes, the decoration, and especially in the expressions. She makes the message fun. Cooper, Ilene

Review

"Blackall, who elevates everything she illustrates, has a knack for using clever details to get the humor across."—Booklist
 
"Spunky, compassionate."—Kirkus Reviews
 
"Kids should applaud this self-reliant, spunky heroine."—Publishers Weekly
 
"Pert, roundheaded Rosemary has a vivid (and vividly dressed) presence in keeping with her strength of mind."—Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books

More About the Author

Cari Best grew up in New York City in an extended European family dominated by confident, beautiful women who loved to talk. As a result, she became more comfortable with the written word as opposed to the one spoken.

A graduate of the City University of New York, she also received a Master's Degree in Library Science from Drexel University, landing a job as the first librarian at the newly built headquarters of the International Reading Association in Newark, Delaware. She served as Editorial Director at a film company for 18 years while raising three children, numerous dogs and seeing the world.

Many of Cari Best's picture books depict real life problems and joys that children encounter: disappointment, shyness, bullying, learning to ride a bike, bake a pie, celebrate a loved one's special day - and show a realistic and satisfying outcome in each case, creating a sense of hope and accomplishment.

Cari Best lives in Connecticut where she walks, gardens, laughs and reads a lot.

Customer Reviews

2.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on October 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Books about only children are hard to come by, which is why I was excited to find this one. Sadly I didn't pre-read it before settling down with my 3 1/2 year old for bedtime stories. What I was hoping would be an empowering story about why it can be great to be an only child turned out to be a story about why it really sucks to be an only: suffocating parents, no one to play with, and just about every other thing I've worried about in regards to my child's 'only' status. All the way through the book, I was hoping the story would turn around in that the main character would find reasons to enjoy being an only, but the story wrapped up with the message that being an only child was ok because the main character was too busy with all of her new pets to think about it.

So if you're an only child, you better keep busy so you won't have time to realize how sucky your life really is, I guess. I think the author really missed the boat on this story. That's too bad.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SB on December 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I don't like it when these types of books start with spelling out all the "problems" before they come up with the answer. Probably a lot of the "problems" weren't even issues in the readers' lives and will just put ideas into their heads! That's how kids' brains work. I would instead find regular books about regular kids who just happen to be only children. Their only status not even brought up at all. I'm surprised I've found a ton of these type of books at yard sales and thrift shops! Then, when reading them with my son, I'll casually say something like, "Oh look, their family is just like our! A mom, a dad, and a little boy!. Boy, do they look like they have lots of fun together!".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B. Hurtgen on January 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I made a mistake in judging this book by the title and didn't flip through it before bringing it home. My six year old is very confident in being an only child and couldn't understand why it was determined to tell her she's missing out in life. It was frustrating to see the "lonely only" stereotype even in children's literature.
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A Kid's Review on January 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book "What's So Bad About Being an Only Child" by Cari Best is very humorous and has very cute illustrations. The story portrays a child that thinks being an only child is horrible. Her relatives are always at her side, waiting for whatever she needs or wants to do. At first, she loves the attention, but after awhile it becomes rather boring. She sees over kids having tons of fun with their sisters or brothers. She begs her parents to have another kid, but in the end, she has something better.
I really love it. We (my mother and I) gave 5 stars to this book because it was the maximum allowed.

Mom writes:
I agree with my child, this is a very good, beautiful illustrated book.Even if my daughter is an only child, for many things she can relate with the child in the book. But for others, she doesn't. But it's okay, because all families are different, and even if a girl is an only child, it doesn't mean that she needs to have the same feelings and life that my daughter hes. And she needs to see things from different point of view.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kirsten G. Cutler on November 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Best, Cari. What's So Bad About Being An Only Child? Pictures by Sophie Blackall. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2007.

Rosemary's parents give her six names, "Rosemary Emma Angela Lynette Isabel Iris" because they do not want to offend their close relatives. Rosemary is a very happy child because "She was the center of attention and the object of affection." However, she suffers when her relatives try to feed her, read to her, or play with her all at the same time, "Being an only child is hard work". Rosemary's friends have brothers and sisters and they all look like they are having fun even when they argue but when Rosemary complains to her parents, they respond, "What's so bad about being an only child?" Rosemary starts "collecting only things--like a sock, a button, the last cookie on the plate" etc. Rosemary's eventual solution to her situation is cute and satisfying. The illustrations are charming depictions of family life. One sweet and colorful illustration shows Rosemary sitting on a seesaw, her end on the ground while her stuffed bear bounces on the other. A double-spread shows Rosemary's dad holding a camera and creeping behind her diaper- clad body while pictures on the room wall playfully portray: her mother making a face as her daughter laughs, her father holding his throbbing finger and smiling at the camera after his daughter has perhaps bitten him and an adult making a face while Rosemary laughs. Another double-spread shows Rosemary's parents each holding her by a hand as her mother feeds her an ice cream cone, "While her mother held one hand, her father held the other, and Rosemary had no hand left to hold her ice cream or fly her kite or even blow her nose." A sweet take on an increasingly common family situation so pair with Hoberman's "One of Each" (Little, Brown 1997) for some fun at story time
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