Miss You Like Crazy

Miss You Like Crazy

by Pamela Hall, Jennifer A. Bell
     
 

Walnut and his mom agree that it would be fun if he could go to work with her, and they fantasize about the adventures they could share. Though it can't always happen, Walnut’s mother assures him that he is always on her mind, and together they find ways to have a physical presence for each other when at work or school. This light-hearted story provides

Overview

Walnut and his mom agree that it would be fun if he could go to work with her, and they fantasize about the adventures they could share. Though it can't always happen, Walnut’s mother assures him that he is always on her mind, and together they find ways to have a physical presence for each other when at work or school. This light-hearted story provides parents an opportunity to reassure children on their importance in busy parents' lives.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/10/2014
In this mild addition to the shelf of picture books on parent-child separation, a squirrel and her son imagine spending the day together, even though the mother’s job doesn’t make that an option. “I wish I could fold you up and pack you in my briefcase,” Walnut’s mother says. She goes on to imagine Walnut tucked away in the “pencil cup” on her desk and the two of them “scroll around the world,” as Bell (My Pen Pal, Santa) shows them flying off on a giant computer mouse. Although the duo’s imaginary adventures spring from Walnut’s insecurity, Hall smartly avoids making him too needy or wimpy. Eventually, Walnut’s mother reveals how he stays with her when she’s away (she has his picture on her computer screen, briefcase, and desk), and she gives him some corresponding mementos to take to school. While the text can occasionally feel disjointed during all the adventure-hopping, Hall offers adults concrete tools for combating separation anxiety, and Bell’s cozy, earth-toned art sweetly conveys Walnut’s loving and playful rapport with his mother. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Shannon Associates. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Bell’s fuzzy-tailed critters and soft, warm hues create a cozy environment for comforting a little one’s fears. . . . Hassled parents will appreciate having yet another resource to combat this common childhood worry."

Kirkus Reviews

 

"Miss You Like Crazy fills an important niche in the life of a working mother (who pays the rent, is good at her work and values it!) and a child who misses her when she's away. The mother assures the child he comes first in her heart. Together they devise a touching way to keep a piece of each one close during the day." — Patricia MacLachlan, author of Sarah Plain and Tall and Snowflakes Fall

Children's Literature - Enid Portnoy
Most children are fascinated by watching squirrela as they rush about climbing and searching from season to season. This imaginative story of a mother squirrel and her child is sure to become a favorite. The young squirrel wishes that Mama Squirrel did not have to leave every morning to go to work, not returning until almost dinnertime. In squirrels and in humans, when members of a family are separated for whatever reason, each person often feels lonely because they will miss the company of the other person. Mama Squirrel tries to soothe her child by explaining that she has many photographs and pictures of Walnut positioned around her workplace to help keep her from getting lonely. Now she has to think of a way to keep Walnut from being without her at home while she is at work. What can she do? Asking young children to think about this problem may permit you to hear some interesting expressions of discontent with similar situations they are experiencing now, or may have in the future when they first start school. Bell’s drawings are playful and imaginative. The endearing pictures are as gentle as the brushstrokes used and take up most of the pages. Reading the book aloud, adult to child or group of children is a good idea, as emotions are often hidden beneath the surface of a story. Hall is the author of many books for young people, and Bell is a full-time children’s literature illustrator. The drawings project a range of emotions the characters are feeling as they think about how to alleviate the lonely feelings caused by physical separation. Reviewer: Enid Portnoy; Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
PreS-Gr 1—Mother Squirrel is getting ready for work when small Walnut announces that he would like to stay home, asking plaintively, "Don't you miss me all day?" His mom replies, "Only like crazy." The two make up an imaginary adventure, with Mom and Walnut spending the day at her office, at sea, and in the jungle until Mom has to leave. The tone and dialogue seek to reassure children that they are loved and that Mom will always be there at the end of the day. Squirrel Mom is kindly firm that she must work to pay the rent and buy him things he likes but that she is also good at what she does, which is an affirming message for working mothers. Also reassuring, but slightly twee or quaint, are the illustrations. The colors are muted, and the scenes are somewhat static. The beginning of the imaginary journey is a little confusing. Mom states, "I wish I could fold you up and pack you in my briefcase." The following sentence reads, "Walnut slipped into a side pocket and hid." However, as the illustrations continue in the same style and colors, with little to show an office environment, it takes a while to realize that Walnut pretends to slip into a make-believe briefcase—which assumes that children know what a briefcase is (luckily illustrated) and that it has side pockets. Once past this page, it becomes clearer that mother and son are inventing a story. An additional purchase.—Michelle Anderson, Tauranga City Libraries, New Zealand
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-05
A little squirrel imagines hiding in his mom's briefcase and sneaking off to work with her. Walnut doesn't want to be separated from his mother all day long. So he and his mom fantasize about what they would do if he came with her to work. He hides in her pocket and scares her. Then she captures him and puts him in her pencil cup. Luckily, he escapes using a paper-clip ladder. This imaginative romp takes them swinging with monkeys in the trees and sailing the seven seas. However, just like in real life, Mom has to go back to work. Walnut doesn't understand why. Mom offers a matter-of-fact explanation: "I go to work so I can pay rent on our den and buy you Nutty Clusters and Super Squirrel socks. And I'm good at what I do. / Just like you are good at kickball and drawing." Most of the tale is imaginative banter, but Hall adroitly touches on the question kids are really asking: Why is work so important it takes a parent away? Bell's fuzzy-tailed critters and soft, warm hues create a cozy environment for comforting a little one's fears. The end feels a bit like a tacked-on separation-anxiety solution (Mom sends a note and a photo to school with Walnut), but that doesn't undercut the sensitivity of the whole story. Hassled parents will appreciate having yet another resource to combat this common childhood worry. (Picture book. 3-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933718910
Publisher:
Tanglewood Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
04/15/2014
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
175,830
Product dimensions:
8.10(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

Walnut crunched Honey Bumbles for breakfast.

“Ready to make tracks?” Mom asked.

“I want to stay home,” Walnut groaned.
“Don’t you miss me all day?”

“Only like crazy,” Mom grinned, snitching a Bumble crumb.
“I wish I could fold you up and pack you in my briefcase.”

Walnut slipped into a side pocket and hid.
“I would pop out and scare you. … BOO!” Walnut shouted, springing from the pocket.

Mom snatched Walnut, twitching trail and all.
“Gotcha!” she laughed. “Captured in my pencil cup.”

“I’d escape on my paper clip ladder,” whispered Walnut, weaving through the forest of pen and pencil trees and hiding in the tangle of cords.

“But I would sniff you out and make you my mouse, “ said Mom. “We’d scroll around the world, me and my laptop pilot.”

Walnut clicked on “Adventure” and donned a crown of gold and a long, velvet robe. “I would be ruler of the jungle and we’d swing with monkeys,” Walnut declared.

“Then we would sail the seven seas and make friends with a whale,” imagined Mom. “She would take us for a ride on her spout.”

“To the beach!’ Walnut shouted. “By then I would need something to eat!”
‘”I would buy us lunch at The Nut Hut,” Mom planned. “You would be the toy that comes with my meal. Then I would wear my Walnut Shell necklace back to work.”

“You’d have to go back?” Walnut asked.

“Yes,” Mom said. “There are things I would need to do. People depend on me.”

“For what?” Walnut wondered.

“I’ll show you sometime—on ‘Bring Your Child to Work Day,’” Mom promised. “But for now, I proclaim each day at 5:00 is Walnut Time.”

Walnut smiled—5:00 would rock!

“But how come you have to work at all?” asked Walnut.

“Well,” Mom explained, “I go to work so I can pay rent on our den and buy you Nutty Clusters and Super Squirrel socks. And I’m good at what I do. Just like you are good at kickball and drawing.”

Walnut considers this . . . .

“But the best part of each day is coming home to you,” added Mom.

“I wish it was 5:00 now,” Walnut frowned. “Can we snuggle?”

Mom looked at her watch and then relaxed, lifting Walnut into her lap. “You bet—I love having you close.” Walnut curled into a ball of fur.

“I wish we could really stay together today. What if you get lonely without me?” Walnut worries.

“But I am never really without you,” Mom said.

“You’re on my computer . . .” [screensaver with Walnut’s face on it)

“In my briefcase . . .” [picture in briefcase]

“At my desk . . .” [Walnut’s framed artwork on her desk; homemade pencil cup]

“Around my neck and on my mind . . .” [mother wears a locket with Walnut’s picture]

“Everyone at work knows you are my top priority . . .” [illusration shows mother talking to coworkers w/icture of Walnut in Halloween costume]

“Mama, I miss you like crazy, too,” Walnut said, whisker to whisker with Mom. “Can I have a little piece of you to keep with me all day?”

“I think we can manage that,” Mom smiled.

[last page should show Walnut at day care with laminated picture of Mom on backpack, note from Mom near coat hook, a necklace with mom’s picture on it]

Meet the Author


Miss You Like Crazy is Pamela Hall's most recent published book. Her most recent books were a group of five titles on bullying, A Bully Free World series. She lives in Lakeland, MN. Jennifer A. Bell is a freelance children's illustrator. She lives in Minneapolis, MN.

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