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It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 7, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 113 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 7, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The creative team behind Today I Feel Silly amiably addresses the challenges of being a five-year-old—especially the pesky problem of learning self-control. In the story's wry opening, the narrator observes, "It's hard to be five. I'm little no more. Good old days are gone. 'Bye one, two, three, four." Among the trials he faces are controlling his temper when dealing with his younger brother ("My mind says do one thing, my mouth says another"), avoiding dirt and starting school ("School seems so scary. School seems so strange. I'm only five. My whole world's going to change"). Curtis's singsong verse also focuses on some of the pluses of being five: though his brother is strapped into a stroller, the hero can walk by himself ("It's fun to be five! Big changes are here! My body's my car, and I'm licensed to steer") and school entails some entertaining activities ("At five I'm a worker—a bee among bees. I build things and grow things, say thank you and please"). Cornell's buoyant, teeming spreads and spot illustrations convey the boundless energy and changeable moods of this likeable five-year-old with on-target, hyperbolic humor. Though the narrative winds to a rather corny close, this cheerful book with its clever visual details will surely appeal to fans of the collaborators' earlier books as well as those looking for a reassuring, age-appropriate tale for the kindergartner in their lives. Ages 4-8.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1–This tongue-in-cheek look at what it feels like to be five will result in uproarious laughter from kids, smiles of recognition from parents, and a cause for pause for any adult involved in a youngster's care. The protagonist is aware of what he has been taught to say: " 'Would you ever so kindly please give me my wig back?'" but, "my mouth says, 'IT'S MINE!'" While waiting his turn on a car ride, the big brother's mind thinks, "It's been an hour and nine minutes. Might I have a smidge of a turn before we have to leave?" However, it comes out, " 'MOM!'" Splashy, vibrant colors capture the typical surroundings through all of the exaggerated, larger-than-life phases of growing up, while the childlike, handwritten text draws viewers right in to the full-page, familiar busyness. Self-control, starting school, and independence–they're all here. Whether read aloud, shared one-on-one, or read independently, giggles and laughter will abound.–Wanda Meyers-Hines, Ridgecrest Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060080957
  • ASIN: B000AI4K1C
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,800,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is not just a fun book to read as it acknowledges the feelings about the "hard stuff" that happens to both boys and girls who are 5---It serves as an outstanding teaching tool that engages five-year-olds in the learning process of gaining "self control" over their actions. Jaime's concept of a control panel is extremely helpful as it gives the children a concrete visualization that will enable many of them to literally "switch on and off" to more apropriate behavior. The lively, colorful illustrations are a perfect match to the text and portray with empathy, clarity and humor a number of tough spots fives find themselves in daily. I love the "bigger than life backpacks" that for me symbolize the "load" these little kids sometimes carry around with them. As a preshcool teacher, I highly recommend this book to read with the children. I would also like to recommend "The Pocket Parent" to moms and dads with five year-olds for more ideas regarding hard stuff with fives. The author feels reading a picture book with a young child can often get a point across to the child in just the right. Pocket Parent has an annotated list of over 100 books relating to children's feelings and misbehaviors. It recommends one of Jamie's other books called "Today I Feel Silly" as extremely helpful in assiting a child to be able to name and identify his or her many feelings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a new kindergarten teacher who'd taught second and first for three years running, I was really having a hard time understanding the minds of my new students. This book, told from the kids' perspectives, was a godsend.

Jamie Lee Curtis does a great job in getting down how kids talk and think. The art work also adds to the story.

Early in the year, when my students were having a hard time sitting still and learning to focus, I read this to them. It really clicked with them and helped them see that other 5 year olds felt the same.
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Format: Hardcover
Yet, we have another exceptional book from Jamie Lee! She has such compassion for her craft of writing books for kids. I just bought several copies for family, as I cannot have children. But I do remember the problems with waiting in line, pushing, and the first day of school for my foster children. It can be a fearful transition for a child. Buying this book which explains everything decreases that fear. In nursing school, we are taught about the importance of teaching plans. What about the kids? They need it too!What I learned in nursing school and foster parent training about development and the many obstacles that tag along with it, is explained on a child's level in this book; therefore, I highly recommend it! Jamie- you get a A+++ for this one!
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Format: Hardcover
There are few books that I can say my 5-year old daughter sits through without blinking an eye or wiggling around but all of Curtis and Cornell's books have completely captured her! Although my daughter LOVES to read, there is something about these books she is amazed by and so far, we have all of them. The books speak to kids but entertain parents, the fun little "stickers", "mood wheels" and other things just add more to what are already wonderful books to have. They not only entertain her, but they also take me back to my childhood and make me smile. You absolutely can't go wrong with any of them...we can't wait for the next one!
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Format: Hardcover
I just have to say that there are no little boys flipping any "middle fingers" in this book, as was mentioned by a previous reviewer. The illustration shows the boy holding a hand out at a crosswalk, as if he is telling the car to stop - he's not making an obscene gesture. Yes this book is busy, but my 5 year old is busy and he loves to find new things every time he reads the book. I like it too - "the fifth Beatle," "Five Easy Pieces," etc.

Not all five year old's are the same -- some definitely have control issues (mine does!), some do not. If your little one does, this is a great book for them!
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Format: Hardcover
This book says exactly what many 5 year olds are feeling, and what they are going through. At first, when I read it to my 5 year old I found myself stumbling through the writing, and I had to stop and figure out what was really being said, but then I figured out the tone of the book and it all made sense. Each page may be very busy, but it's "right on the mark" with how 5 year olds are. They are very busy, and ready to explore and try new things on an average of every 15 to 20 minutes. Other reviewers may find that "not normal" but the descriptions of a 5 year old in this book are "right on the mark," and when I read it to my son he couldn't stop saying, "that's how I felt on my first day of kindergarten," "that's happened to me in line before,""sometimes I don't want to sit still mom." This book tells you some of the things going on with a 5 year old, and they are all natural feelings. Jamie Lee Curtis' book tells any five year old that they have all kinds of feelings about different situations going on in their lives and that it's OK to feel. The book gives the parent a chance to explore these feelings with their child and it's a great lead in to encouraging your child to talk about the different things they feel. This book has every kind of feeling; negative and positive, and that's what life is about, so for other reviewers who feel that a child is "not normal" if they get angry sometimes, or a child is "not normal" because they're developing self esteem about some of the tasks they have accomplished that were difficult for them, then I encourage them to write about all those perfect no feeling children that they encounter each day.Read more ›
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