Publishers WeeklyHubbard (Once I Was...) casts negative attitudes as nattering animals in this superficial self-help guide. Jealousy, with a pinched, jet-black face and sharp orange beak, pecks at the door as a "No-Good Dirty Nasty Mean Feather-Faced Chicken." If someone foolishly invites Jealousy in, the author warns, a "Sharp-Tongued Snake" called Envy, a "Rude Rat" known as Greed and an "Angry Red Hornet" of Rivalry will visit, too. In Hubbard's characteristically asymmetrical, na ve compositions, the four "bullies" taunt solitary girls and boys. Even after they are banished by the children's rousing cheer ("Pluck that Chicken! Knot that Snake! Trap that Rat in a very small space! And swat that Hornet right out of this place!"), the ugly temptations threaten to return. The book introduces but does not define its seven-deadly-sins terminology: Rivalry "backbites and lies"; Jealousy, for unspecified reasons, "at first seems kind of sweet." Offering no insight as to why someone would "open the door" to Jealousy in the first place nor any clear sense of how to counter the pesky vices, these handsome-looking pages are unlikely to leave much of an impression. Ages 5-up. (June) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's LiteratureHubbard makes Jealousy an amusing but palpable presence, peck peck pecking at your door, seemingly sweet, but becoming a no-good nasty who invites in his dreadful friends, Envy, Greed, and Rivalry. Others are repelled, leaving you alone with the horrid crew. You must kick them all out, as the playful rhymes suggest, but watch out, for they will try to return. These states of mind are personified as gouache and watercolor pencil unreal creatures from nightmares. The pages are frenetically designed with text, characters, signs and speech balloons, all demanding attention. Both visually disturbing and comical, the results of jealousy are clearly demonstrated. A great discussion-provoker. 2002, G.P. Putnam's Sons,
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library JournalK-Gr 3-Using wacky creatures to represent jealousy, envy, greed, and rivalry, Hubbard and Houston explore these emotional bullies. Each one appears at the door as a stylized critter that enters and then creates major troubles. Envy, a "Sneaky, Creepy, Sharp-Tongued Snake," slips in through the floorboards, resulting in hisses that someone else is prettier, smarter, quicker, stronger, etc. The remaining three creatures take over, leaving "you" friendless. Hope is provided by fighting back and dealing with these feelings, but readers are warned that they are always knocking at the door and waiting to enter your mind and life. The playful presentation is complemented by vibrant colors in gouache and watercolor pencil on Fabriano paper that pop off the page. Changes in font size and color and layout of the text provide additional visual interest. A unique tool to spark discussion of emotions, their consequences, and the ability to deal with them.-Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews"Jealousy is a feeling that gets inside you. You invite it in, and suddenly . . . There's a No-Good Dirty Nasty Mean Feather-Faced Chicken filling up your living room." In her own way, Hubbard (Park Beat, 2001, etc.) helps children understand and deal with this powerful emotion. (Adults might benefit as well.) Once the Chicken is invited in, Envy (a Sneaky, Creepy, Sharp-Tongued Snake), Greed (a Rude Rat), and Rivalry (an angry Red Hornet) follow. Then you end up all by yourself with only the mean and nasty critters. How to deal with it? "YOU have a choice. You let them in . . . and YOU can KICK THEM OUT!" Suggestions on how to do so are general: "Pluck that chicken! Knot that snake!" Cautions and key words are in large, colored type; gouache and watercolor-pencil illustrations have the same energy, vibrant colors, and style of Hubbard's best earlier work. Jealousy is depicted as a large chicken with a black head, white-lined eyes, a red, triangular beak, and black white-veined leaves as feathers. The children's thoughts appear as black or white tear shapes with contrasting colored print. Lively design, fanciful figures, and playfulness with type effectively convey the message that you can triumph over jealousy and its friends, just not exactly how. One quibble: the verso cites written by Woodleigh Marx Hubbard with Madeleine Houston; indeed she gets to dedicate her contribution "to the teachers of metaphor." Nowhere else is there credit or acknowledgement of what, or how much, role she played. (Picture book. 5-8)
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.36(w) x 10.34(h) x 0.40(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
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