No Dessert Forever!

Overview

Have you ever been blamed for mischief your brother has caused? Did you get mad?

Well, so does the girl in this book about a brother who pesters, and a sister who objects — big time.

In their spirited words and pictures, favorite friends George Ella Lyon and Peter Catalanotto have a fine time righting the wrong of this familiar family injustice.

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Overview

Have you ever been blamed for mischief your brother has caused? Did you get mad?

Well, so does the girl in this book about a brother who pesters, and a sister who objects — big time.

In their spirited words and pictures, favorite friends George Ella Lyon and Peter Catalanotto have a fine time righting the wrong of this familiar family injustice.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
While the middle of this team's (A Day at Damp Camp) ambitious story contains notable illustrations, which accompany a monologue by an angry girl, the beginning conflict and the resolution unfold through illustrations alone. When the girl nearly breaks a lamp because her brother startles her, her mother unfairly makes her sit on the sofa. Most of the book consists of the girl acting out threats to her ragdoll. "When you get little and I get big, I'll be the Queen of Mealtime and I'll say, `People who don't finish their spinach-mousse mush don't get any dessert.' " Some of the girl's dialogue seems puzzling ("People who won't wear coats thick as bricks don't get to go outside"), and as she gets carried away, her taunts grow increasingly unreasonable. Catalanotto shows the girl's crescendoing anger as she screams, "No outside at all! No pets your whole life!" and toys blow off of the spread as if propelled by a gust of wind. The book returns to wordless illustrations of the living room, as the mother catches the brother attempting another scare, and punishes him instead. The vindicated sister says to her doll in a rather abrupt and emotionally unconvincing ending, "When you get little and I get big, I'll never get mad at you!" Because the text focuses exclusively on the girl's feelings and provides no alternative narration, young readers may have difficulty teasing out the theme of the book. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
In a true collaboration between text and art, Lyon and Catalanotto (who are listed together on jacket and title page as joint creators of the book, rather than as author and illustrator) show a little girl's imagined revenge against her unfair mother, acted out in a one-sided dialogue with her rag doll. The first few wordless spreads show a brother sneaking up his sister, while their mother is busy painting a wall; when the sister shrieks, she is wrongly blamed for the incident. Then her imagined retribution begins: "When you get little and I get big, I'll be the Queen of Mealtime and I'll say, ‘People who don't finish their spinach-mousse mush don't get any dessert'" and "When you get little and I get big, I'll be the Queen of Doorknobs and I'll say, ‘People who won't wear coats thick as bricks don't get to go outside.'" As the doll becomes smaller and smaller, the threats continue: no pets "your whole life," and always being sent off to bed before dark. Luckily, mom notices brother preparing to launch another sneak attack; this time the correct child is reprimanded, and sister is able to promise forgiveness to her mother and long-suffering doll at last. The little girl's tirade is appropriately childlike, and alert young readers will enjoy seeing how effectively a story can be told in pictures and dialogue alone.
School Library Journal
PreS-Frustrated with her busy mother, a little girl acts out various scenarios with herself as the adult and a doll as her child. With humor and warmth, Lyon offers a poignant picture of the parent-child relationship from a child's viewpoint, without denigrating the girl's very real feelings. The sophisticated realism of Catalanotto's painterly illustrations may not be instantly appealing to preschoolers, but the vivid expression of emotion through movement and facial expression does a wonderful job of expanding the brief text. This book is just right for older preschoolers who are struggling with issues of independence, anger, frustration, and especially being little in a big world. It would be an excellent accompaniment to Jamie Lee Curtis's It's Hard to Be Five: Learning How to Work My Control Panel (HarperCollins, 2004) or Rachel Vail's Sometimes I'm Bombaloo (Scholastic, 2002). No Dessert Forever! ruefully acknowledges that being little isn't always fair but models the natural technique of displacement as an excellent way of working through feelings of resentment and aggravation.-Tamara E. Richman, Somerset County Library System, Bridgewater, NJ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Lyon and Catalanotto capture the experience many children will recognize: What happens when the wrong kid gets the scolding? Here, a little boy in a skeleton mask frightens his ballet-skirted sister, and she accidentally knocks over a lamp. Mom, who's been painting a wall in the next room, only catches her daughter's apparent carelessness. She severely scolds the girl, who does the same to her doll, spinning out an elaborate fantasy for "When you get little and I get big." She'll be the (mean) Queen of Mealtime, of Doorknobs, of Bedtime, fashioning merciless punishments. When mother discovers her mistake, she rushes to make amends. And daughter promises her doll that when she gets big, "I'll never get mad at you!" Lyon's thoughtful story is greatly enhanced by Catalanotto's realistic illustrations in watercolor and gouache, and by a decision to let several of the pictures speak for themselves, with no text. An offbeat winner. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416903857
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 10/24/2006
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,447,106
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

George Ella Lyon grew up just down the road from Blanton Forest, the largest old growth forest in Kentucky, and has always felt most at home in the woods. Some of her recent titles include the ALA Notable All the Water in the World, the Schneider Family Book Award–winner The Pirate of Kindergarten, the Jane Addams Peace Award Honor Book You and Me and Home Sweet Home, and Planes Fly! A novelist and poet, she lives with her family in Lexington, Kentucky. You can find out more online at GeorgeEllaLyon.com.

Peter Catalanotto has written fifteen books for children, including Monkey & Robot, Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All, Ivan the Terrier, Matthew A.B.C., and Emily’s Art, of which School Library Journal said in a starred review, “Whether viewed from afar or up close, this creative and heartfelt book is a masterpiece.” Peter has illustrated more than forty books, among them several collaborations with George Ella Lyon. Their Mother to Tigers received a starred review in School Library Journal and was one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing in 2003. He lives in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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