Flabbersmashed About You

( 1 )

Overview

Readers first met Katie Honors in Rachel and Yumi's Sometimes I'm Bombaloo and Jibberwillies at Night. Now Katie is back as she deals with feeling "flabbersmashed" by her best friend, who suddenly wants to be friends with another kid. We've all been flabbersmashed by a friend--left out of an activity or secret, left to feel sorry for ourselves, or move on. Will Katie ever stop feeling left out?

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Overview

Readers first met Katie Honors in Rachel and Yumi's Sometimes I'm Bombaloo and Jibberwillies at Night. Now Katie is back as she deals with feeling "flabbersmashed" by her best friend, who suddenly wants to be friends with another kid. We've all been flabbersmashed by a friend--left out of an activity or secret, left to feel sorry for ourselves, or move on. Will Katie ever stop feeling left out?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In their third journey through the emotional states of heroine Katie Honors (following Sometimes I’m Bombaloo and Jibberwillies at Night), Vail and Heo look at what happens when a best friend suddenly turns cold. One day, Katie and Jennifer are inseparable (“Lots of times, we dress alike. Our hands fit perfectly together”); the next day, Jennifer has picked Roy—who likes to “play warriors... and kill bad guys”—to be her “walk-in-from-recess” buddy. As with the previous books, Vail coins an aurally vivid portmanteau (flabbersmashed) to describe Katie’s psychic cocktail of bewilderment, anger, and sense of abandonment. Heo’s colorful childlike drawings effortlessly veer from the opening pages’ idylls of friendship into harrowing psychological maelstroms: when Katie first receives Jennifer’s casual rejection, the playground is transformed into a vast sea of midnight blue that threatens to engulf her. Vail fully inhabits Katie’s mind and emotions and with prose like “my whole self felt like a bruise” gives readers yet another way to describe and think about feelings that are sometimes difficult to put into words. Ages 4–8. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (July)
From the Publisher
Praise for Flabbersmashed About You:

“For readers who are confronting loss or shifts in friendship.” —Kirkus

“Evocative.” —Booklist

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Flabbersmashed is no ordinary word—but Katie Honor needs a new word to show totally lost and devastated she feels when her very best friend Jennifer ignores her and starts to play with Roy. As time goes on, Katie feels more and more left out—she considers the gagillion, jillion, quadrillion mean things to the say to the pair; instead, she notices Arabella is without a partner as the class lines up to go back from recess and offers her a hand. Yumi Heo's quaint stick figures and geometric shapes help lighten the strongly afflictive feelings Katie is experiencing. Like the previous Vail and Heo production, Sometimes I Feel Bombaloo, this book offers a good way to launch a discussion about the feelings of anger and frustration that are part and parcel of daily life all the while offering suggestions of more productive ways to deal with those feelings.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Self-described as a "really friendly kid" who goes on "lots of playdates," Katie Honors, protagonist of Sometimes I'm Bombaloo! (2002) and Jibberwhillies at Night (2008, both Scholastic), characteristically gives a straight-talking exploration of how it feels when her best friend's allegiance momentarily shifts to someone else. Jennifer decides to build forts and "kill the bad guys" with Roy on the playground, leaving Katie feeling flabbersmashed-and alone. Boiling with anger, she resorts to physical interference ("I chopped their hands apart") and yelling when Jennifer and Roy line up together after recess. Meanwhile, classmate Arabella, "who just moved here and hardly talks at all," stands alone and quietly offers her hand to Katie… and a not-exactly-the-same, but promising, friendship takes root. Young children will relate to Katie's thoughts and emotions, the range and intensity of which are effectively mirrored in varied design perspectives, font sizes, and colors. Bold strokes of thick, textured paint render the playground setting and youngsters' faces and feelings in childlike simplicity; the attractive textile patterns in their clothing easily define each character. This is a fresh, inviting, and altogether useful presentation of a perennial childhood predicament from a familiar, trusted source-Katie Honors.—Kathleen Finn, St. Francis Xavier School, Winooski, VT
Kirkus Reviews
The third Katie Honors entry (Sometimes I'm Bombaloo, 2002; Jibberwillies at Night, 2008) again traverses critical emotional territory, though the visual and textual quality don't match the topic's importance. The plot is simple: Katie's best friend plays with someone else at recess; Katie feels furious and wounded until she makes a new chum herself. Although Katie boasts about her own social dabbling ("I like to play with everybody, and they all like to play with me, too. I go on lots of playdates"), and although Jennifer never implies that their friendship's over, powerlessness and loss of routine do sting. Unfortunately, the artwork is too stilted and static for the roiling emotions and theme about change. Composition varies, but despite interesting white space between figures and background, the vibe is stiff. Even when Katie imagines screaming, Heo's geometrical shapes look balanced and regular. When Katie does yell, her eye becomes a spiral, and the visuals finally match the mood. Text changes type, color and size, in a way that feels not playful but instructional and provides volume levels. Description of Katie's old and new pals waxes sentimentally adult: Jennifer's "smile is as bright as the morning sun in your eyes," Arabella's "smile [i]s gentle like the afternoon sun between the leaves." As the future of Katie and Jennifer's friendship remains unknown, this is for readers who are confronting loss or shifts in friendship. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312613457
  • Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 791,805
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD550L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Vail is the author of numerous novels and picture books, including Justin Case and Piggy Bunny. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.

Yumi Heo is the illustrator of many picture books. This is her third time collaborating with Rachel Vail. She lives in White Plains, NY.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 11, 2013

    An 8 year old might be turned off by the simplicity of the story

    An 8 year old might be turned off by the simplicity of the story but the book is perfect for ages 3-6. It captures the essence of young mood swings that can exclude someone without meaning to and the simplicity of the solution. If somebody is hurting, reach out and take their hand. The book is part of the "Katie Honors" series and with it's pink cover is likely to appeal more to girls than boys.

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