From the Publisher
Your kid will find plenty to relate to in graphic-novelish vignettes about what bothers Nina.
Nina is an Everychild with a hint of attitude. She certainly knows what pushes her buttons, and with their extensive experience writing for kids, her creators Kroll and Knight have touched upon the very things that make many children mad. Nina, drawn with affection and exuberance, should make lots of new, equally offended friends.
Children's Literature - Kathie M. Josephs
This is a must-have book for children! It is a very cleverly written book with a perfect layout for its message. Every two pages has a new "story." On the left side is a picture of Nina saying what makes her mad. On the right page is a mini example showing what she meant. The things that make her mad are the same things that make most children angry. For example, Nina gets mad when she does something nice and no one cares, or when she tries to do something and it doesn't work. Explaining these feeling to an adult can sometimes be difficult for a child, and this book would certainly make it easier. The book is so reader-friendly, well-written, and absolutely right on the button that it will become a family favorite. The illustrations are fantastic, truly depicting the problems. At the end of the book, the author includes information about the three levels of reading comics with kids. This book is labeled level 2. Whether the child can read independently or relies on someone reads aloud to him, this is a perfect book for learning that it is okay to sometimes be angry. The last page is very moving and a perfect ending for a children's book. Reviewer: Kathie M. Josephs
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Benjamin always seems to be in the right place to assist a friend, as when he and Rabbit are stuck in a snowstorm and Rabbit is happy to take shelter underneath his sizable belly, making the bear a living snowdrift. The overlying theme through all of the single-page vignettes is Benjamin's willingness to help his pals. His laugh-out-loud antics are brilliantly displayed in easy-to-follow, colorful panels. Able to leap great ravines, find his way out of a maze, and walk on the ocean floor, he is a character that kids will enjoy spending time with. Each spread in Nina shows a scenario in which the child is angry. She is frustrated "when you don't let me help…" and proves to her mother that she really can change the baby's diaper. She is annoyed when "You don't know what I like." ("I hate fish!") Of course, it's not her fault she can't get her clothes on fast and correctly. It's not her fault that mom forgets her promises. It's not her fault that her parents make her go to bed so early she can't see the show she wants to. If only parents realized how hard it is to be a kid. Knight's charming illustrations evoke the plethora of emotions Nina endures as she tries to get her parents' attention. In the end, though, her mother comes through. Nina's strong and lovable personality is reminiscent of Eloise (also illustrated by Knight), Ramona, and Judy Moody.—Carol Hirsche, Provo City Library, UT
A young child presents a catalogue of timeless irritations and injustices in a 1976 outing with art and text lightly massaged and reformatted for newly independent readers.
From "When I do something nice and no one cares..." or "When you get mad at ME and I didn't do it..." to "When I NEED you and you make me WAIT..." Nina's complaints range from actual injustice to self-absorbed whining and so have near-universal applicability. Each general grievance is paired to a specific incident detailed in comic-book–style panels on the facing page, such as a painting that distracted parents don't praise properly, a promise of ice cream that doesn't pan out, a playmate who abruptly runs off with someone else or clothing that just won't go on the right way. Fresh and buoyant despite the old-style television or occasional other period detail, Knight's art places Nina—short haired, dressed in overalls and looking androgynous, in contrast to the girlier figure that Christine Davenier made of her in a 2002 edition (published as That Makes Me Mad)—between siblings in a comfortably domestic setting. He captures her feelings in a broad range of wonderfully expressive body language ranging from hunched-shoulder, irritated frowns to melodramatic sprawls. Aposthumous publication for Kroll; Knight is still going strong and working on an autobiography.
A little parental TLC finally calms the storm, as it usually does. (Graphic early reader. 6-8)