Eric, The Boy Who Lost His Gravity by Jenni Desmond

Life with siblings isn’t all cookies and cream, so to speak. After all, the flip side of anyone spending so much time together is that there’re bound to be instances of bickering, petty quarrels or fights, which is normal. What’s more important is not allowing whatever negative emotions that are riding high in that moment to linger long enough to cause any real damage. And this, essentially, is the gist of Eric, The Boy Who Lost His Gravity, which is almost uncanny in its depiction of sibling rivalry.

Continue reading

Hooray for Hat! by Brian Won

Compared to the practical nature of clothes and shoes, hats are not widely worn for their utility. OK, some do serve a purpose, like hard hats, sun hats and beanies, but, by and large, it seems like there’s just something irrepressibly fun and attractive about hats that party suppliers have long ago cottoned-on to when they created novelty hats to help get people in a celebratory mood — or at least look the part.

Continue reading

Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig

Everyone has a unique hodgepodge of memories. The funny thing is, of the millions of little moments that we experience throughout our lives, only a very small percentage will be retained in our minds; and the thing is, we never really know which are the ones that will stick — that we can still recall clearly maybe 20 or 30 years down the road, even though they didn’t seem all that significant at that point of time. What we remember of childhood as an adult is thus all the more hazy, given that those form our very first memories. That said, if you are lucky enough to have parents who take pains to carve out extra-special moments in the midst of the everyday mundanities — the kind that you’ll be hard-pressed to forget — then it’s likely that you will have more fond memories of childhood than not. And judging from Pete’s a Pizza — based on author William Steig’s personal memories of a game he used to play with his youngest daughter — Maggie is one such lucky girl.

Continue reading

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz

Anyone who has had days where nothing seems to go right, will be able to sympathise with the protagonist of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

From the moment Alexander wakes up in the morning (with gum in his hair), everything that can go wrong, does. Although nothing really bad happens, we can empathise with him as a string of bad luck and an unfortunate chain of events conspire to make his day a miserable one. At one point, he even hilariously declares that he wants to “move to Australia”, although he clearly has no clue where it is or what is there.

Continue reading

Rain! by Linda Ashman and Christian Robinson

Rain! tells the story of two very different people — a little boy and an old man — whose paths cross on one fine/dreary (depending on who you ask!) rainy day. The story is cleverly told in parallel, so on one page, the old man, who clearly regards the rain to be an annoyance, is seen grumbling nonstop as he dresses and makes his way out of his house; in contrast, on the facing page, the little boy, equating rain to fun, excitedly puts on his rain gear before leaving the house with his mom and gleefully jumping into the puddles.


Continue reading

No Fits, Nilson! by Zachariah OHora

No Fits, Nilson! is a brilliant book that helps kids to recognise that tantrums are unnecessary, by giving them an objective, third-person perspective of the situation in the form of a sweet and entertaining story about a little girl Amelia who is best friends with Nilson the gorilla.

Everything is fine and dandy most of the time, except when Nilson throws the biggest fits over the tiniest things — something that many toddlers are apt to do.


Continue reading