It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel
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It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel

4.1 21
by Jamie Lee Curtis, Laura Cornell
     
 

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It's hard to be five.
Just yelled at my brother.
My mind says do one thing.
My mouth says another.

It's fun to be five!
Big changes are here!
My body's my car,
and I'm licensed to steer.

Learning not to hit? Having to wait your turn? Sitting still? It's definitely hard to be five. But Jamie Lee Curtis's encouraging text

Overview

It's hard to be five.
Just yelled at my brother.
My mind says do one thing.
My mouth says another.

It's fun to be five!
Big changes are here!
My body's my car,
and I'm licensed to steer.

Learning not to hit? Having to wait your turn? Sitting still? It's definitely hard to be five. But Jamie Lee Curtis's encouraging text and Laura Cornell's playful illustrations make the struggles of self-control a little bit easier and a lot more fun!

This is the sixth inspired book from the #1 New York Times best-selling team of Today I Feel Silly: & Other Moods That Make My Day and I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self Esteem.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling author Jamie Lee Curtis once again teams up with Laura Cornell for another sure-to-be winner, this time to celebrate the agony and the ecstasy of being five. Complemented by Cornell's knee-slapping illustrations, which capture a frustrated boy learning to make sense of his changing world, Curtis zeroes in on the transformative age of five, when mouths have a mind of their own, clothes never fit, and of course, going to school for the first time is no picnic ("It's hard to be five. It takes Superman skill. Sitting in circles. Sitting so still"). But as fans have come to appreciate from Curtis, the author also shows the positive side of the coin: Being five also means responsibility, knowing yourself better, and recognizing that "I have my own mind and I have my own heart." In true form, Curtis and Cornell show childhood like it is, keeping the upbeat pace that readers found in their previous Today I Feel Silly and I'm Gonna Like Me. Five-year-olds will certainly cheer the voice that this duo lends them, while kids younger or older than five can reflect on how that age is an important door to identity and independence.
Publishers Weekly
The creative team behind Today I Feel Silly amiably addresses the challenges of being a five-year-old especially the pesky problem of learning self-control. In the story's wry opening, the narrator observes, "It's hard to be five. I'm little no more. Good old days are gone. 'Bye one, two, three, four." Among the trials he faces are controlling his temper when dealing with his younger brother ("My mind says do one thing, my mouth says another"), avoiding dirt and starting school ("School seems so scary. School seems so strange. I'm only five. My whole world's going to change"). Curtis's singsong verse also focuses on some of the pluses of being five: though his brother is strapped into a stroller, the hero can walk by himself ("It's fun to be five! Big changes are here! My body's my car, and I'm licensed to steer") and school entails some entertaining activities ("At five I'm a worker a bee among bees. I build things and grow things, say thank you and please"). Cornell's buoyant, teeming spreads and spot illustrations convey the boundless energy and changeable moods of this likeable five-year-old with on-target, hyperbolic humor. Though the narrative winds to a rather corny close, this cheerful book with its clever visual details will surely appeal to fans of the collaborators' earlier books as well as those looking for a reassuring, age-appropriate tale for the kindergartner in their lives. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The jolly rhymes are written as if by a five-year-old, describing how hard it is to be past the "good-old days," to be in a time when so much more is expected of you; when you want to do what's right but just can't seem to. School is scary: "It takes Superman skill. Sitting in circles. Sitting so still." But it also sometimes fun to be five as well, with new skills and opportunities. "It's hard fun to be five..." "I'm here and I'm proud!" Kids can enjoy identifying with the mixed emotions as they learn to work their own control panel. Cornell's energetic, comic watercolor drawings demonstrate with gusto the frenetic actions of this normal kid. From the beginning end-papers with the "5-o-meter" flashing the "Panic" button through the many scenes with rhyming text plus all sorts of funny writing on book cover, back pack, in speech balloons, etc. she takes us on a frenetic romp guaranteed to wear out most adults while grabbing the attention of youngsters. On the back end-papers, the "5-o-meter control panel" is running smoothly at last. 2004, Joanna Cotler Books/HarperCollins Publishers, Ages 4 to 6.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Curtis echoes Dr. Seuss's Oh, the Places You'll Go! in her latest collaboration with Cornell that laments and celebrates the agony and the ecstasy of being five years old. Rhythmic verses bounce along as the boy narrator lists his daily challenges, most involving the entropic nature of childhood that flies in the face of etiquette and hygiene: "It's hard to be five. Just yelled at my brother. / My mind says do one thing, / my mouth says another." As ever, Cornell's hilarious, detail-rich illustrations effervesce with amusing asides that catapult the engaging but unspectacular verse to another level. A couple of clunky lines ("My body's my car, / and I'm licensed to steer") are, like the subtitle, perplexing and overly adult. Still, children will relate to this vivacious tale of a boy who likes to stay dirty, pretend to be a ninja, and bite his friends-but, on the brighter side, builds things, grows things, and says "thank you" and "please." (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060080952
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/07/2004
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
37,866
Product dimensions:
9.54(w) x 11.32(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jamie Lee Curtis has had many firsts: her first (and only) marriage to Christopher Guest, her first time holding her children, Annie and Tom, her first time pretending to be a customer in an episode of Quincy, and her first time she wrote words that became her first book. She lives in Los Angeles, the first city she ever lived in, and is always first in line, first to arrive, first to leave, and first to sleep.

Laura Cornell lives in New York City with her daughter, Lily (first and only), but they spend much time in California, Laura's first state in her first home. She was asked to illustrate Jamie's first book, and that became ten. Lucky is the first word that comes to mind.

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It's Hard to Be Five 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was enjoyed by the 5 year old & the 2 year old. The whole family loves this book. I have had it from the library for 2 weeks now & have read it every single night!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not just a fun book to read as it acknowledges the feelings about the 'hard stuff' that happens to both boys and girls who are 5---It serves as an outstanding teaching tool that engages five-year-olds in the learning process of gaining 'self control' over their actions. Jamie's concept of a control panel is extremely helpful as it gives the children a concrete visualization that will enable many of them to literally 'switch on and off' to more appropriate behavior. The lively, colorful illustrations are a perfect match to the rhyming text and portray with empathy, clarity and humor a number of tough spots fives find themselves in daily. I love the 'bigger than life backpacks' that for me symbolize the 'load' these little kids sometimes carry around with them. I liked the fact that the book also includes some of the fun, cool stuff about being five, too. As a preschool teacher, I highly recommend this book to read with the children. I would also like to recommend 'The Pocket Parent' to moms and dads with five year-olds for more ideas regarding 'hard stuff' with fives. The author feels reading a picture book with a young child can often get a point across to the child in just the right way. Pocket Parent has a very helpful annotated list of over 100 books relating to children's feelings and misbehaviors. It recommends one of Jamie's other books called 'Today I Feel Silly' as extremely helpful in assiting a child to be able to identify and discuss his or her many different moods and feelings.
Bricca More than 1 year ago
I was looking for a book for my granddaughter who is turning 5 and this is a cute book but more so for Boys so will wait to give this to my grandson when he turns 5! What caught my eye in the reviews and made me want to take a second look was the "And I know when to go" illustration where one reviewer panned the book saying it showed the boy flipping the car off. How funny because IF you look at the boy's hand he is holding it up in a STOP gesture... So I had a good laugh at that one! The review is dated from 2005 and the last review is 2009...kind of dated since it is now 2011. Anyway wanted to correct that misconception that the book has a boy flipping off a car in an illustration. Not so!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My kids love this story - rhyming words and funny illustrations - They seem to like the idea that have the same experiences as the character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book for my daughter & her friend on their 5th birthdays this year. They both LOVE it and enjoy reading it often.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's great to be able to read a book to my grandchildren that has a message/messages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recently bought this book appropriately for my 5 year old. He asks for it to be read to him nearly every night. He seems to really relate to it, and understands there are other kids out there who feel like he does. I tell him I am glad we figured out it is hard to be five and he nods in agreement, and says ' so am I '
Guest More than 1 year ago
A boy turns five and begins to discover changes all around him. A great book to be read to or by youngsters to let them know that they're not the only ones noticing these things.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book sympathizes with kids at the age of five, in a humorous way. The pictures are adorable, and the rhyme is bouncy and lively--appealing to parents and kids both. We all enjoy it!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book as does my almost 5 year old. It puts into words a lot of what he can't and it is so on target. The humor and illustrations make it a silly, fun book. I noticed in one of the reviews that it said something about the middle finger -- please look at the pictures again. It is not his middle finger, it is his hand that he is holding up to a car to ask for safe crossing as he pushes his sibling's stroller across the street. There is no vulgarity or swearing in this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so incredible and of all the feelings of a five year old actually goes through during their life. They can learn a lot in this book and still enjoy it at the same time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If anyone is wondering, the cover's jacket is upside down on many books. If you are confused on how to read this book (like I was) turn the jacket around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I gave this book a one star rating only because I had to give it something in order to have it published in the reviews. It does not deserve any stars. This book does not show one example of a child learning how to work their control panel. The most disappointing is the illustration of knowing when to stop and when to go. I have a great sense of humor, however illustrating a five year old flipping the middle finger at the cars from the crosswalk is unacceptable in a book for 4 to 8 year olds. I for one am returing this book.