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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Dr. Laura Schlessinger helps youngsters deal with some potentially troublesome emotions they may encounter in her latest children's book, Growing Up Is Hard. Little Sammy is having a bad time because everything in his life is changing and he doesn't like it. Even though everyone used to love his artwork, now his kindergarten teacher says he could do better. When he forgets to take out the trash, Mom not only yells at him, she takes away his TV privileges. Then Sammy's best friend can't come over to play because he's going to someone else's house instead. By the time Grandma yells at him for acting like a baby, Sammy is beginning to wish he were one.
Dad helps Sammy put all these changes into perspective and teaches Sammy some grown-up concepts, such as compromise and responsibility. He helps Sammy to see the positive side of all the changes while also letting him know that it's okay to feel bad about them at times -- that's all part of growing up. Daniel McFeeley, who illustrated Schlessinger's other children's books, uses splashy watercolor drawings to render the events in Sammy's life. There are plenty of familiar items in the details to keep young eyes busy and young minds thinking. And Sammy's facial expressions as he ranges through his emotions -- scowling, crying, pouting, and pondering -- may serve as a prompt for parent/child discussions. (Beth Amos)