Don't Call Me Pruneface!

Overview


Paul is a good boy. Everybody says so. But his new neighbor is enough to try anyone's patience. She walks her cat on a leash, calls Paul and his dog mean names, and makes a general nuisance of herself. Will the mild-mannered Paul survive the first week next door to Prudence?

Debut picture book author Janet Reed Ahearn and illustrator Drazen Kozjan use humor and style to show the classy approach to confronting one's peers. Loaded with color, feisty energy, and lots of good ...

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Overview


Paul is a good boy. Everybody says so. But his new neighbor is enough to try anyone's patience. She walks her cat on a leash, calls Paul and his dog mean names, and makes a general nuisance of herself. Will the mild-mannered Paul survive the first week next door to Prudence?

Debut picture book author Janet Reed Ahearn and illustrator Drazen Kozjan use humor and style to show the classy approach to confronting one's peers. Loaded with color, feisty energy, and lots of good jokes, Don't Call Me Pruneface! will teach kids how to deal with bullies even as it entertains.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The hero, bespectacled Paul, doesn't know how to cope with his new neighbor, the relentlessly belittling Prudence (she calls him "Pill" and insists "you're a cootie cockroach with glasses"). Finally pushed to the limit after earnestly trying to get his nemesis to act civilly, Paul lashes out with an insult he has used only in his head: he calls Prudence "Pruneface." His immediate remorse ("I feel bad all day"), and Prudence's surprising response should provoke some intriguing conversations with young readers, especially given that the one grownup in evidence, Paul's grandmother, is wholly ineffectual (the best she can muster are platitudes like "You catch more flies with honey"). Both first-timer Ahearn and Kozjan (the Julia Gillian series) are conventional storytellers--the book has the look and feel of a Sunday school text. But underlying the inelegant presentation are some rather provocative, politically incorrect ideas. Maybe grownups can't be counted on. Maybe anger does work. And most intriguing of all, maybe Prudence wants to be insulted. Ahearn and Kozjan don't seem to want to go there--but readers will. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Paul is a good boy. Even he says so. That goodness is challenged when Prudence moves in next door, and Paul's friendly overtures are greeted with increasingly nasty name-calling. He attempts to discuss the situation with his grandmother, but her cryptic responses ("You catch more flies with honey," "Let a smile be your umbrella," etc.) do nothing to alleviate the situation. Finally Paul cracks and gives Prudence a dose of her own medicine, resorting to calling her "Pruneface." This one rather mild insult causes an abrupt transformation. The next day, Prudence and Paul are great chums, walking each other's pets and chatting happily. The message here is distinctly problematic. Readers see that first impressions are not always correct and friendships often take time to cultivate. However, no explanation is ever offered as to why Prudence is so mean in the first place, and her total turnabout is unrealistic to say the least. While the book offers flashed of humor, and Kozjan's illustrations are attractive, the troublesome message makes this a marginal purchase.—Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423119180
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/3/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Lexile: AD400L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Janet Ahearn is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and founder of Primary Theatre Company, an Off-Broadway theater company. Don't Call Me Pruneface! is her first picture book. She lives in New York City.

Drazen Kozjan (www.drazenkozjan.com) was born in Karlovac, Croatia, and grew up in Canada. He has illustrated Diary of a Fairy Godmother by Esme Raji Codell, The Biggest Girl in the World by Joanne Stanbridge, How to Tame a Bully by Nancy Wilcox-Richards, and the Julia Gillian series by Alison McGhee. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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