Priscilla Twice

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``It's not the same as home.... It's not the same family,'' says Priscilla, who is trying to understand her parents' divorce. And even her two sets of toys, books and clothes can't replace what she has lost-her sense of family and place. Readers are never allowed to forget this theme, which is relayed also through Priscilla's pictures at school, including one where her body parts are divided between her parents. But unlike many children of divorce, Priscilla has the love and support of two caring-nay, perfect-parents who are willing to put Priscilla first: Her parents swap Priscilla's favorite recipes and respond to her tantrums with laughter and hugs, and the father moves no farther than ``down the street.'' The lesson is, as a happy and secure Priscilla tells her teacher at the end, ``that there are different kinds of families.'' Caseley's (Dear Annie; My Sister Celia) pat, idealized treatment simplifies a serious topic, but might fuel further discussion. The pencil and watercolor art adequately conveys emotions with lighthearted frankness and honesty, and depicts a welcome multiethnic cast of characters. Ages 5-up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Priscilla, like many children today, must deal with the divorce of her parents. They have shared custody and live close by so Priscilla will spend time with each and thus have two sets of most everything. Priscilla is angry, but her parents are patient and loving and work hard to help her adjust. While the intention is good, the situation ( alternating weeks with parents, their patience, and the final resolution seem too pat to be real.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2A slight picture book about a child coping with her parent's divorce. Priscilla, living one week with her father and the next with her mother, is bothered about her family. At school, she draws herself as a tiny speck on one side of the paper with her mother, and on the other side with her father. Many weeks go by with Priscilla enduring two sets of toys and books and two places for her friends to visit. At the conclusion, the girl again draws herself twice, but not as tiny this time, and she explains to her teacher that there are different kinds of families. Illustrations are colorful and cartoonlike, yet stiff and flat in appearance. Children may not not fully comprehend the subtle change in Priscilla's attitude toward her separate living situations, which is brought about by two parents assuring her of their love. Perhaps this book will be more reassuring to adults who want to believe that everything will turn out all right in the end. Barbara Hazen's Two Homes to Live In (Human Science, 1978), C.B. Christiansen's My Mother's House, My Father's House (Atheneum, 1989), Joan Schuchman's Two Places to Sleep (Carolrhoda, 1979), and Linda Girard's At Daddy's on Saturdays (Albert Whitman, 1987) are stronger choices.Blair Christolon, Prince William Library, Manassas, VA
Lauren Peterson
Priscilla's parents are divorcing, and now she has two sets of toys and books, two toothbrushes, and two sets of clothes. First, she's the perfect little girl, because "if I keep my room clean and behave myself, maybe you won't have to get a divorce." Later, she becomes "messy and horrid," but her parents still reassure her that she is loved more than ever. Appealing illustrations filled with bright colors and patterns and a text injected with humor relieve some of the seriousness of the subject matter. Even so, there are still some heartbreaking episodes in which Priscilla makes it clear that divorce is no laughing matter. Priscilla eventually adjusts and tells her teacher in a plain, simple message that there is more than one kind of family.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688133054
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/1995
  • Edition description: Illustrated
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.41 (d)

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