ARTHUR THROWS A TANTRUM
Volume 21 Number 4
The two latest in a series of first novels from Formac Publishing bring back Maddie and Arthur, characters from the first books That's Enough Maddie and Mooch and Me.
In Maddie Wants Music, Maddie is a young girl looking for her own space in a family involved with baby sister Angelbaby Sugarkins and two little boys. She desperately wants a Walkman of her own to tune out the rest of the family and listen to what she wants to hear. But first she has to raise the money to buy one. She goes to great lengths to reach her goal, including borrowing money (without telling) from her brother's piggy bank.
The story moves quickly and has a lot of laughs and a little soul-searching. A dramatic conclusion when Maddie's yard sale is attacked by thieves helps her recognize that maybe a friend is worth more than a Walkman.
The book is a pleasure to read with large print, brief chapters and lively black-and-white illustrations by Marie-Louise Gay. I'm sure many little girls will identify with Maddie's trials.
In Arthur Throws a Tantrum, Arthur barricades himself in his room after his father forces him to return a puppy he found. In a rage, he throws everything around and swears he will never come out. All the while he is wondering what his father is doing to try to get in. Eventually, hunger and sleep get the best of Arthur, and he wakes to find his father has been busy and has returned with a special surprise.
Any child who's ever thrown a tantrum will feel the anger, isolation and helplessness along with Arthur. The book is a good read.
I think children aged eight to ten and maybe even a little older would enjoy reading both these books. The authors capture the frustration of living in a world where others make decisions for you. Their style is engaging and may get children hooked on novels tailor made for them.
Donna Doyle is a freelance reporter living in Rocky Bay, Nova Scotia, and a member of the Eastern Counties Regional Library Board.
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