Alice Falls Apart.
Perry Nodelman. Illustrated by Stuart Duncan.
Preschool - grade 3 / Ages 3 - 8.
Alice is a girl with many personalities. She awakens for school one day, rolls over, and bumps into a sound asleep somebody who looks just like herself.
But it was a school day, so Alice punched the sleepy Alice until she woke up, and then she made sure that the sleepy Alice got dressed almost as fast as she did herself.Alice personalities continue to appear, including a mad Alice, a nervous Alice, and a nasty Alice. By the time Alice gets home from school there are fourteen Alices.
After breakfast the two Alices went outside and there was another Alice climbing the crabapple tree. Alice told this new Alice that Poppa didn't let her climb that tree because it was too dangerous.
The new Alice said, "So What?"
They all tried to get through the front door at the same time. It made a lot of noise. Poppy shouted from the kitchen.This is an intriguing idea for a picture book, but, for this reviewer, Alice Falls Apart could use more editing. The book becomes confusing with so many Alices arriving on the scene. The end, however, offers an interesting twist when a second Poppa appears, an angry, grumpy one opposed to the kind, huggable Poppa who eats another cookie with one of the Alices.
"Alice, Alice, Alice! What a racket! I had a hard day, and I have a headache. You need to get a grip on yourself, Alice! Right now, Alice!"
After some confusion just one Alice walked into the kitchen, smiled sweetly at Poppa, and said "Boy, am I glad to see you!"
The illustrations are expressive, showing the various Alice moods and personalities very well. This book would be better understood by 7 and 8 year old children, rather than a 3 or 4 year old audience.
Recommended with reservations.
Naomi Gerrard has been fascinated with children's literature for years and is a reviewer for the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon award.
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Copyright © 1997 the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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