________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 9 . . . .January 7, 2005

cover

It's Hard to be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel.

Jamie Lee Curtis. Illustrated by Laura Cornell.
Toronto, ON: Joanna Cotler Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, 2004.
36 pp., cloth, $19.99.
ISBN 0-06-008095-7.

Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 4-5.

Review by Helen Norrie.

*1/2 /4

   

excerpt:

It's hard to be five. Just yelled at my brother. My mind says do one thing. My mouth says another.

 

The subtitle of this book, "Learning How to Work my Control Panel," sums up the contents. Los Angeles author Jamie Lee Curtis describes many of the frustrations of a five-year-old. They hate keeping still. They love to get dirty. They make messes when they don't mean to. They may say mean things before they think. They grow out of their clothes. But they eventually learn to work and play with other children. So the book ends with: "It's hard fun to be five, so strong and so loud. Give me five 'cause I know it. I'm here and I'm proud!"

     While this book may be useful in working with kindergarten students, I found it just too busy. There are dozens of extra details in the illustrations which are by New York artist Laura Cornell. While readers may enjoy picking out all the background messages, I found them distracting. The art work is "cartoon style" in bold colours and splashy format.

     The book is in rhyming couplets, and the text is written in large black print. This makes it suitable for the five-year-old age group though it might more often be read aloud by a teacher or parent. If you have a five-year-old who is having trouble controlling his emotions and actions, this might be just the book. Otherwise, I can't recommend it.

Recommended with Reservations.

Helen Norrie of Winnipeg, MB, has taught all grades K-12. She also spent time as a teacher-librarian.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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