Can You Do This, Old Badger?

Can You Do This, Old Badger?

by Eve Bunting, LeUyen Pham

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There are lots of things Little Badger can do that Old Badger can't manage to do anymore. But Old Badger can still show Little Badger a few tricks--especially about nap time!


There are lots of things Little Badger can do that Old Badger can't manage to do anymore. But Old Badger can still show Little Badger a few tricks--especially about nap time!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bunting (Smoky Night) features two badgers walking along a forest path at sunset in the opening shot of this somewhat plodding intergenerational tale. When Little Badger proudly shows off his ability to jump, roll down the hill and climb trees, he says, "It's sad that you are old now and can't do many things." Old Badger answers, "There are some things I can't do now... But you help me remember how it was when I was young. And that makes me happy." Unfortunately, there is little tension or development in the plot. Through the remainder of the book, Old Badger patiently instructs Little Badger in one task after another. The young one's too coy questions ("How do you know so much?") and the elder's preachy tone ("That's the way it was planned") make the characters' dialogue sound somewhat hollow; the artwork, however, succeeds in creating depth in the relationship between the two. Newcomer Pham suffuses her watercolors of the affectionate pair with glowing twilight tones and loving warmth. She captures Little Badger's insouciance and tumbling toddler exuberance as well as Old Badger's steady and serene demeanor. Ages 3-7. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
As Old Badger and Little Badger take a walk before dark, Little Badger finds it sad that there are many things that he can do that Old Badger no longer can. But there are many things he can still do, including teaching Little Badger how to find worms, or beehives, or how to fish. The simple tale reinforces the cycle of life for youngsters. As an old badger taught him, Old Badger assures Little Badger that some day he will teach another little badger, and he will love him "as much as I love you." Whether badger or human grandfather, the story would be the same. There's a natural anthropomorphism to Pham's animals and a sense of warm rightness to the depictions of their forest home. In gouache-painted, full-page scenes and frequent vignettes the artist refrains from any dark thought of predators or of grandpa's mortality. From the jacket/cover on there is a nosy frog not mentioned in the text, a character we look for as a sort of comic relief from the lessons taught. Old Badger's wisdom is shown in many ways; mutual love is also successfully visualized in both facial expressions and body language. 1999, Harcourt Inc., Ages 4 to 7, $15.00. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-While out walking with Old Badger, Little Badger asks, "Can you do this?" as he jumps, somersaults, and climbs. Old Badger admits that while there are many things he is no longer able to do, he still has much that he can teach the youngster. Through Old Badger's wisdom, they enjoy a plentiful earthworm lunch, eat honey from a hive, rake mud from their claws, and catch a fish from a stream. As they curl up together at the end of their day, Little Badger asks his elder how he knows so much. Old Badger responds that an old badger taught him and that when Little Badger is old, he will pass what he has learned on as well. Warm-toned gouache illustrations create the ideal scene for the tender interaction between two generations. Children will drink in the detail, from Old Badger's striped coveralls and spectacles to the small green frog that follows the pair on their walk. Little Badger's gleeful energy is matched by Old Badger's patient amusement. Twinkling fireflies, the rosy sky at sunset, and a cozy hole in the bank under a badger-faced moon create a warm feel. A sweet intergenerational story that captures the joy of a day well spent with one well loved.-Carolyn Stacey, Jefferson County Public Library, Golden, CO Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Little Badger Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
7.12(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
3 Years

Meet the Author

EVE BUNTING is the author of the Caldecott Medal-winning Smoky Night as well as two other books about Little Badger. Ms. Bunting's many honors include the prestigious Kerlan Award for her body of work. She lives in Southern California.

LEUYEN PHAM graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She is the illustrator of Piggies in a Polka by Kathi Appelt, Before I Was Your Mother by Kathryn Lasky, and two other books about Little Badger. Ms. Pham lives in San Francisco, California.

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