CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 2. . . .September 13, 2013
Stephanie McLellan’s revisits the monster family that she introduced in Hoogie in the Middle and explores the roles children play in terms of birth order in Tweezle into Everything. This story focuses on the youngest monster, Tweezle, and the trouble he seems to attract. Tweezle may be the youngest, but like many young children learning how to navigate the world, he fights with the idea that he’s still a baby.
The story starts by introducing the family. Pumpkin is the eldest, Hoogie is in the middle, and Tweezle is the infuriating younger brother. Tweezle tries to be a big boy by doing the dishes with a “Splash and a crash”, or he tries to help with the gardening, “Blam and a slam.”
Poor Tweezle can’t seem to make anyone in his family happy as his efforts to enhance his sister’s art and play in his brother’s room are the source of fights that any parent with multiple children can relate to. Then one night after dinner, Tweezle goes missing, and the family searches the house and backyard for him only to find that the backyard has been dug up, and Pumpkin’s basket and Hoogie’s blanket are missing. When the family follows the tiny muddy footprints to the source, they find that Tweezle has been nursing a fallen baby bird back to health. The family celebrates Tweezle’s good deed, and he feels a little more grown up.
Tweezle into Everything is a great book for young children. It can be used to help young children who may be struggling with the challenges of not being able to do what older siblings can do, or for slightly older children who have younger siblings. The clear language and straightforward plot make it easily comprehendible for young children. Dean Griffiths has illustrated the book in bright, cheery colours that will appeal to young eyes and hold their attention. There is quite a bit of detail in the illustrations which can invite interaction with the storyteller and the child.
Overall, Tweezle into Everything would make a great addition to any bookshelf. It tackles the real-life issues of age and the challenges of birth order for both older and younger children, and it can be used as a great tool for teaching empathy.
Rhiannon Jones is a health librarian at the University of Calgary. In her spare time, she reads and re-reads books to her three children who teach her that something new can be gleaned from multiple tellings.
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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.