Thursday, June 18, 2009

Book Review (Kids): Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie

Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie, by Norton Juster and illustrated by Chris Raschka

The girl in this book has two names. She's Sourpuss when she's in a bad mood and Sweetie Pie when she's ... well, being a sweetie pie. Sometimes Sourpuss turns into Sweetie Pie and other times, Sweetie Pie turns into Sourpuss in the blink of an eye. (Got that?)

Sound familiar? It does to me. The mood swings here in the Betty and Boo house can be a little on the ... um ... intense side. Obviously we've got our deck stacked with some autism spectrum issues happenin' but I have to believe that these sorts of dramatics come into play with other kids, too ... right? Right? (Just humor me and tell me I'm right, 'kay?)

Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie is the story of a little girl visiting her grandparents. As they interact in various situations, the child's mood differs from page to page. (Or even sentence to sentence.)

When I get big and you get old, Poppy, I'm going to take care of you. You can do whatever you want as long as you clean up when you're done.

I won't wear any of the things you put out for me, Nanna. I want my yellow shirt with the beads and the long flowery skirt and my flip-flops and all my bracelets or I'm not going to school. I don't care if it's winter!

You're my best friend, Nanna.

Except for Sara and Rachel and Fluffy and Alphonse and Consuela.

Betty and Boo thought this book was hilarious and asked me to read it several nights in a row, which I happily did. I think (er ... I hope) they saw themselves in certain situations and this led to conversations about our different moods and how it can be hard for people to manage their moods and to deal with others when their moods are unpredictable. Did it change their emotional DNA overnight? No. Nor did I expect it to. It's a process ... or so I keep telling myself.

Sourpuss and Sweetie Pie, a cute and incredibly colorful book, is the second collaboration between author Norton Juster and illustrator Chris Rascha. Their first book was The Hello, Goodbye Window, for which Rascha won the 2006 Caldecott Award. Juster is also the author of the children's classic The Phantom Tollbooth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh no, not just your household! My daughter is so much a sour puss and sweetie pie, bouncing back and forth many, many, way too many times a day, every day!!


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