Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One

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Overview

MEET THE PAIN:
My sister's name is Abigail. I call her The Great One because she thinks she's so great. Who cares if she's in third grade and I'm just in first?

MEET THE GREAT ONE:
My brother's name is Jacob Edward, but everyone calls him Jake. Everyone but me. I call him The Pain because that's what he is. He's a first-grade pain. I'll ...

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Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One

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Overview

MEET THE PAIN:
My sister's name is Abigail. I call her The Great One because she thinks she's so great. Who cares if she's in third grade and I'm just in first?

MEET THE GREAT ONE:
My brother's name is Jacob Edward, but everyone calls him Jake. Everyone but me. I call him The Pain because that's what he is. He's a first-grade pain. I'll always know exactly what he's thinking. That's just the way it is.

These seven warm-hearted stories will give readers a peek at how a brother and sister relate to each other.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This energetic, comical collaboration rounds up seven new stories about the spunky siblings from Blume's The Pain and the Great One. First-grader Jake calls his older sister the Great One, "because she thinks she's so great." Abigail, in turn, has dubbed him the Pain "because that's what he is." In distinct, equally sassy voices, the two take turns narrating the tales, which capture slices of Saturday life. The Great One provides an imaginative solution when her brother refuses to get a haircut (because he's afraid that the barber will cut his ears off), and describes her disastrous half-birthday sleepover party, at which the one friend who shows up refuses to spend the night. The Pain explains how he successfully wiggles out of playing goalie for his bungling soccer team, and tells of pet-sitting for his aunt's dog and giving the malodorous mutt a shampoo and a tooth-brushing. And the Great One proudly recounts how she finally overcomes her fear of falling and learns to ride a bike. ("I can jump rope, turn an almost-perfect cartwheel, and make pancakes with hardly any help. The Pain is hopeless at those things. So how come he can ride a bike?") Blume fills the duo's narratives with playful bickering, banter and baiting, while slyly and satisfyingly revealing their mutual affection. Further animating the kids' antics are Stevenson's (No Laughing, No Smiling, No Giggling) wispy illustrations, which feature many funny flourishes. Ages 5-9. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 1-3
This collection of seven short stories by Judy Blume features first grader Jacob, "The Pain," and his older sister, Abigail, "The Great One." First brought to life in her picture book, The Pain and the Great One (Bradbury Press, 1974), Blume reintroduces these lovable siblings with a series of humorous and insightful tales about growing up. From getting a first haircut to having a birthday sleepover to learning to ride a bicycle for the first time, the two youngsters try to deal with growing up in a variety of familiar situations. Narrators Kathleen McInerney and Fred Berman bring Abigail and Jacob to life by portraying them with age-appropriate voices. An entertaining and fun recording that will delight young listeners.
—Amy JoslynCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Once again, Blume shows off her pitch-perfect understanding of childhood anxieties and family dynamics. In alternating first-person chapters, siblings Jacob (the Pain) and Abigail (the Great One) describe a series of Saturday adventures, including visits to Mr. Soupy's hair cuttery, an unsuccessful sleepover and lively dog-sitting. First-grader Jake learns to like soccer league when he gets to play something besides goalie, and third-grader Abigail finally masters riding a bike. Each short chapter begins with a picture of the speaker, and all are liberally illustrated with Stevenson's sketches. Aimed at a younger audience than many of her books, the humor and convincing dialogue will keep new readers going. Jacob and Abigail first appeared in "The Pain and the Great One" in Marlo Thomas's collection Free to be . . . You and Me (1974); that story was illustrated and republished on its own with the same title in 1984. This welcome new collection should attract a new generation of readers. (Fiction. 6-9)
From the Publisher
Starred review, School Library Journal, August 2007:
"[T]he stories are sweet and accurately depict the growing pains of childhood."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385733052
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/2007
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 420L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy  Blume

Judy Blume lives in Key West and New York City. You can visit her at www.judyblume.com.

James Stevenson has written and illustrated more than a hundred books for children.

Biography

Before Judy Blume, there may have been a handful of books that spoke to issues teens could identify with; but very few were getting down to nitty-gritty stuff like menstruation, masturbation, parents divorcing, being half-Jewish, or deciding to have sex. Now, these were some issues that adolescents could dig into, and Blume’s ability to address them realistically and responsibly has made her one of the most popular – and most banned – authors for young adults.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, published in 1970, was Blume’s third book and the one that established her fan base. Drawing on some of the same things she faced as a sixth grader growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Blume created a sympathetic, first-person portrait of a girl whose family moves to the suburbs as she struggles with puberty and religion. In subsequent classics such as Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, Deenie, Blubber, and Tiger Eyes, Blume wrote about the pain of being different, falling in love, and figuring out one's identity. Usually written in a confessional/diary style, Blume’s books feel like letters from friends who just happen to be going through a very interesting version of the same tortures suffered by their audience.

Blume has also accumulated a great following among the 12-and-under set with her Fudge series, centering on the lives of preteen Peter Hatcher and his hilariously troublesome younger brother, Farley (a.k.a. Fudge). Blume’s books in this category are particularly adept at portraying the travails of siblings, making both sides sympathetic. Her 2002 entry, Double Fudge, takes a somewhat surreal turn, providing the Hatchers with a doppelganger of Fudge when they meet some distant relatives on a trip.

Blume has also had success writing for adults, again applying her ability to turn some of her own sensations into compelling stories. Wifey in 1978 was the raunchy chronicle of a bored suburban housewife’s infidelities, both real and imagined. She followed this up five years later with Smart Women, a novel about friendship between two divorced women living in Colorado; and 1998’s Summer Sisters, also about two female friends.

Blume has said she continually struggles with her writing, often sure that each book will be the last, that she’ll never get another idea. She keeps proving herself wrong with more than 20 books to her credit; hopefully she will continue to do so.

Good To Know

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was inspired by an article given to Blume by her babysitter about a toddler who swallowed a small pet turtle. She wrote a picture book introducing Fudge (based on her own then-toddler son), the turtle, and older brother Peter; but it was rejected. A few years later, E. P. Dutton editor Ann Durell suggested that Blume turn the story into a longer book about the Hatcher family. Blume did, and the Fudge legacy was born.

Blume is not an author without conflict about her station in life. She says on her web site that, as part of her "fantasy about having a regular job," she has a morning routine that involves getting fully dressed and starting at 9 a.m. She has also getting out of writing altogether."After I had written more than ten books I thought seriously about quitting," she writes. "I felt I couldn't take the loneliness anymore. I thought I would rather be anything but a writer. But I've finally come to appreciate the freedom of writing. I accept the fact that it's hard and solitary work."

Blume's book about divorce, It's Not the End of the World, proved ultimately to be closer to her own experience than she originally imagined. Her own marriage was in trouble at the time, but she couldn't quite face it. "In the hope that it would get better I dedicated this book to my husband," she writes in an essay. "But a few years later, we, too, divorced. It was hard on all of us, more painful than I could have imagined, but somehow we muddled through and it wasn't the end of any of our worlds, though on some days it might have felt like it."

Her most autobiographical book is Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, says Blume. "Sally is the kind of kid I was at ten," Blume says on her web site.

Blume keeps setting Fudge aside, readers keep bringing him back. The sequel Superfudge was written after tons of fans wrote in asking for more of Farley Hatcher; again more begging led to Fudge-a-Mania ten years later. Blume planned never to write about Fudge again, but grandson Elliott was a persistent pesterer (just like Fudge), and got his way with 2002's Double Fudge.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York's Upper East Side, Key West, and Martha's Vineyard
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Elizabeth, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in education, New York University, 1961
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 33 )
Rating Distribution

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(12)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 29, 2011

    awesome and funny

    five stars

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2012

    Awesome

    This was the best book ever i shared it to my child he was like mom could you read this book again.Best book ever except for uncle jens barbershop reaaly awesome and sad book by bone toodles

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2012

    Fluzzy rules!!!!

    This book is so funny!!! I love this book so much! <3 u fluzzy!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Wgfvb Vbhgub GtrdvynjfswrteqqaFuhghihfhDfghgfv ff

    FhhdggghdbhhfgkhgesdxcgjxckxmfDtjffhjjhvvgfsxbkmkod

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Kids loved it - and they were quick to point out the book jacket

    Kids loved it - and they were quick to point out the book jacket had an error. &quot;Meet the pain&quot;-words are about the sister Abigail and should be about the brother. &quot;Meet the Great  One&quot;-words are about the brother, when it should be about the sister.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Funny!

    This is so funny!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2012

    Wow!

    I love these book seiries

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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