Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Parker always has his finger up his nose. Family portraits of him as a baby, a baseball player and a Cub Scout prove that "Parker's been picking as long as he can remember." When his teacher scowls and his classmates whisper about him, he thinks "they don't know what they're missing." The unabashed protagonist, with his appealingly floppy hair and habitually crooked index finger, gets lots of attention for his gross habit. But just when readers might feel inclined to emulate him, his finger gets stuck. He smiles impishly as his condition excuses him from piano lessons, but he wishes he could bowl. After a baseball-game crowd laughs at him, he goes to bed in tears and awakens with a freed digit. Levine, editorial director for Nickelodeon TV's Web site, chooses a can't-miss subject for the junior crowd, even though she does not mention boogers directly. She leaves the disgusting stuff to Martin (Don't Know Much About the Presidents), who digitally illustrates the toxic-green mucous and then, once Parker quits, pictures the proud boy displaying his clean finger to his critics. Levine and Martin create a cautionary variation on the myth that if you make a face, it will freeze that way. They aim as much for humor as deterrence and end the story with the incorrigible hero picking something else "his scabs." Ages 5-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Parker is a nose picker and has been since he was a baby. Everyone finds his nose picking disgusting. One day, due to a cold, Parker's finger gets stuck in his nose. At first he is glad because he doesn't have go to piano lessons or take a test at school. After a few days he starts missing out on fun activities like bowling and dodgeball. His father tries to cheer him up by taking him to a baseball game. He catches a fly ball and is shown on the giant TV with his finger up his nose. Everyone in the stadium laughs at him and he is publicly humiliated. After crying himself to sleep, the next morning his finger comes out of his nose and he promises everyone that he won't pick his nose again. Though the illustrations are bright and fun, the book gives the idea to children that they can do whatever they want even if it is unhealthy and socially unacceptable. Parker only changed his behavior because strangers laughed at him. Parents may want to discuss unhealthy and socially unacceptable behavior with their children and the consequences of their choices. 2002, Simon and Schuster,
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 1-Parker picks his nose and then flicks what he retrieves into the fishbowl, onto the walls, etc. He is impervious to the disapproval of his parents, teacher, and classmates because, "These opinions come from people who have never picked their own noses, and they don't know what they're missing." After his finger becomes stuck in his nostril due to a cold, he ends up being publicly humiliated at a ball game when he makes a great catch and his picture is flashed on a giant TV screen. At home, he cries himself to sleep, wakes up with his finger unstuck, and vows to mend his ways-he will pick only his scabs. This book insults the intelligence of children by assuming that they will automatically equate gross behavior with humor, and the joke, if it exists at all, is tired before the first page is turned. More troublesome is Parker's motivation for changing his habits. He couldn't care less that he is shunned by his classmates, or that the significant adults in his life are disturbed by his behavior. He doesn't stop his picking and flinging because of any realization that it is unhealthy, besides being socially unacceptable, but because of strangers' reactions when they see him on TV. A possible message here is that what appears on the screen should form guideposts for behavior. The digitally rendered illustrations feature garish purples (Parker's hair) and greens (the ubiquitous snot), and are as forgettable as the book. Pick something else.-Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.