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Ernestine is in over her head. Monday through Sunday, Ernestine’s week is packed with after-school lessons—tuba, knitting, sculpting, water ballet, yoga, yodeling, and karate. Overwhelmed and exhausted, Ernestine decides to take matters into her own hands and heads off to the park with her Nanny where she builds a fort, watches the clouds, and plays all kinds of unstructured and imaginative games. But when a teacher calls Ernestine's mom to report that she has not shown up for yodeling, her parents search ...
Ernestine is in over her head. Monday through Sunday, Ernestine’s week is packed with after-school lessons—tuba, knitting, sculpting, water ballet, yoga, yodeling, and karate. Overwhelmed and exhausted, Ernestine decides to take matters into her own hands and heads off to the park with her Nanny where she builds a fort, watches the clouds, and plays all kinds of unstructured and imaginative games. But when a teacher calls Ernestine's mom to report that she has not shown up for yodeling, her parents search everywhere until at last they hear their daughter's laughter coming from the park. Ernestine tells her parents what a wonderful afternoon she's had, and explains her plight, asking, "I like my lessons, but can't I stop some of them?" This saga hilariously captures the dilemma of the modern-day over-scheduled child in riotous color and absurd extremes. A delightful heroine, Ernestine will be sure to put “play” back on everyone’s agenda, demonstrating that in today’s overscheduled world, everyone needs the joy of play and the simple wonders of childhood.
"Illustrations by Beaky . . . a helter-skelter of varying perspectives, diagonal lines, falling objects, and crowded calendars sporting Post-It notes all contribute to the frantic mood of the story. . . . More than enough amusing examples of adult folly in both text and illustration." —Bayviews (February 2012)
"One day overscheduled Ernestine bails on her lessons to do something outrageous: play. The book has a capital 'M' message but also lots of heart. Plus, there's amusement in Lodding's text . . . and in Beaky's acrylics." —The Horn Book (January 2012)
"Beautiful acrylic illustrations in vibrant colors show the child's myriad activities and frenzied lifestyle. Taking time to play without a schedule is one of the overarching themes here, but Ernestine seems to realize this all along." —School Library Journal (December 1, 2011)
"A paean to play, especially for kids. . . . The vibrant, colorful illustrations help lift each page of spunky narration. The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister will appeal to overachieving kids of all ages, or 4-8." —www.midwestbookreview.com (December 2011)
"Lodding teaches an important lesson . . . without being didactic, but with charming characters and happenings. The brilliant illustrations of Suzanne Beaky are an absolute treat, full of fun and telling details in bright colors. They match the story perfectly. This is a book parents and children alike will enjoy over and over again." —www.CityBookReview.com (January 2012)
"After juggling a different activity each day of her overscheduled life, Ernestine breaks free for a day of playing at the park, reminding kids and adults alike about the importance of including fun and simple childhood wonder on every agenda." —Metro Family Magazine (March 2012)
"The illustrator has created beautiful and detailed artwork that really helps emphasize Ernestine and her crazy life. The images are creative and funny. Children . . . will delight in the moral of the story: Sometimes a kid just needs to have time to play, have fun, and exercise only the imagination." —www.NYJournalOfBooks.com
What does it mean to "live life to the fullest"?
Young Ernestine Buckmeister's parents pack her schedule, with a different activity daily after school, with yoga and karate on the weekend. They've even hired brusque Nanny O'Dear to keep her on schedule. As mother says, "Make every moment count!" Ernestine has no time to play, though it's clear from her longing looks at neighbor Hugo and his soccer ball that she wants to. The big schedule board that covers a wall of her bedroom fills her with dismay. One afternoon, Ernestine rushes out the door past Nanny, shouting, "Today I scheduled something new!" It's a trip to the park, to play with other kids. When the yodeling teacher calls home to report Ernestine's absence, the news sends her parents into a tizzy. They visit all her activities, from knitting to water ballet to tuba practice. Just following in their daughter's footsteps exhausts the Buckmeisters, and, when they spot her in the distance, they barely have enough energy to trudge up a hill to meet her. Both Ernestine and Nanny seem happy and renewed. From that day forward, sometimes it's activities, and sometimes..."she just played." There's great energy in both Lodding's storytelling and Beaky's bright acrylic illustrations.
The valuable lesson is all the more effective for being shown, and not preached—though perhaps it's meant more for adults than the children they are reading to. (Picture book. 5-7)
Posted December 6, 2013
We discovered this book at a "meet the author" event at a local bookstore. My kids just love it. Every year when I have to go up to school and read a book aloud, my kids pick this one. All the kids in class love it and start interrupting me to tell me how over scheduled they are!!! They can relate to the book. I highly recommend it. Very funny and well illustrated!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.