In which Annie (high school teacher, mother of two young girls and a younger boy) and her aunt Deborah (children's bookseller, mother of two young women in their 20s) discuss children's books and come up with annotated lists.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hurricane Nina

Dear Annie,

I love  thinking of you and Eleanor sneaking in extra chapter reading time to enjoy Starry River of the Sky.  That book makes me happy.

We've just spent the day battening hatches around here in preparation for Hurricane Sandy.  A storm of a different nature is the subject of today's book: the angry pre-schooler. 
Nina in That Makes Me Mad!
by Hilary Knight and Steven Kroll is another Toon reader which makes a great read-aloud for a certain age (hello, Isabel).   Yes, Hilary Knight is a familiar name: he's the 85 year-old illustrator of the Eloise books.  Nina was  originally written in 1976 -- this version of the book is dedicated to Kroll, who died last year.  It's been re-formatted to fit the Toon graphic novel format

Nina is the middle child in a girl-girl-boy family. 

   And she has a list of grievances, each with its own two-page spread:

(1976 explains Mom's fashion sense -- she's in skirts and sensible heels throughout.)

Other things that make her mad include:
When you promise and then you forget...
When I try and it doesn't work...
When I try and no one else does...
When you stop me before I can finish...
Nina is younger than Maya (who makes a mess), more full of pure frustration, less artfully funny.  But Nina's feelings are a good point to start the Anger Discussion -- an addition to our list of books about tantrums.  One can imagine Nina in a few years calming down and becoming Eloise -- why have we never written about her?

There's a nice little trailer for this book, with a tag line I'm fond of:

"Available at retailers that don't make Nina mad."

Hope that includes me.



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