Thursday, February 16, 2023

Review from BCCB

 Trade ed. ISBN 9781797210803$16.99

Reviewed from digital galleysR4-7 yrs

A morning of soggy cereal and itchy clothes is just the start of our pouty protagonist’s misery, and the day doesn’t get much brighter from there. The youngster laments their troubles as a hurried rush to school results in a skinned knee, a case of the hiccups interrupts playtime, and a missing pudding cup ruins lunch. An afternoon errand trip makes for some especially dramatic woes: “Oh, Boredom,/ I thought you’d left. Bye-bye. Shoo-shoo!/ You’re back again with more nothing to do./ A chore at the store?/ I fall to the floor!/ Snorrrrrrrrrre.” Kiddo makes it through a yucky dinner and the ever-arduous bedtime prep, ending the day with a snuggle with their caretaker and a hope that perhaps tomorrow will be better. The poetic structure and regal cadence lend the child’s voice a sense of polite formality, bringing ironic humor to her bad day histrionics, but the joke does not necessarily come at the youngster’s expense. Rather, repetitive address of the day’s various disappointments (“Oh you Ouchy,” “Oh you Hiccup”) acknowledges the plain old awfulness of the situation. Illustrations have a childlike draftsmanship, with dot-eyed faces and scribbly linework in colored pencil and watercolor, and the misery of our put-upon protagonist, with a constant frown and occasional wide-mouthed moan, is cleverly matched with bits of visual humor, including an expressive little cricket that follows the child through their travails. The book ends with hard-earned wisdom that even adults could use: “All day long/ my way went wrong./ I’m annoyed . . . / but not destroyed.”  KQG

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