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Don't Slam the Door!
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Don't Slam the Door!

by Dori Chaconas, Will Hillenbrand (Illustrator)
 
Slamming the screen door sets off a comical chain of cause-and-effect in this rollicking tale of a rambunctious family.

A slamming door may not seem like a big deal, but in this escalating tale, it can have far-reaching (and very funny) consequences — including a limping, yelping Pa; a scared, bee-stung bear; and a whole house plunged into pandemonium!

Overview

Slamming the screen door sets off a comical chain of cause-and-effect in this rollicking tale of a rambunctious family.

A slamming door may not seem like a big deal, but in this escalating tale, it can have far-reaching (and very funny) consequences — including a limping, yelping Pa; a scared, bee-stung bear; and a whole house plunged into pandemonium! In lively rhyme that’s perfect for reading aloud — complemented by Will Hillenbrand’s cozy, homespun illustrations — Dori Chaconas follows a pint-size narrator as she warns her family of the ever-more-outrageous effects of their actions. But despite her valiant efforts, things keep spiraling humorously out of control. Will she ever be able to get the house back in shape?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A boisterous pup bounding through an old screen door sets off a cacophonous chain of events in this picture book romp. A girl makes the titular plea to her dog hoping to avoid mass confusion, but she's too late. The slamming door awakens the cat, who unravels the yarn in Ma's knitting basket, which leads to a pair of knotted, lumpy socks for Pa, who hops around and rouses the bees in the hive, and so on. Cows, bees, and a big brown bear in the bedroom are the last straw for the frazzled young heroine, who orders everyone out. Readers will delight in the cumulative chaos and empathize with the narrator's exasperation. Chaconas (Mousie Love) keeps the energy level up with rhymes full of exclamatory phrases ("Don't run through the barn!/ Hey, Bear! Not through the barn!/ You'll give those cows an awful scare,/ you silly, bee-stung, scaredy-bear"). Hillenbrand's (Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!) mixed-media illustrations convey a gleeful sense of motion, capturing the bucolic setting and its inhabitants via a sunny palette, dramatic facial expressions, and fun details. Ages 3-6. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
In rollicking rhymes a young girl begs, "Please do not slam the door!" For that will bring a chain of unfortunate but very funny circumstances. It will wake the cat who, despite the warning, will roll Ma's yarn balls everywhere, then knot the yarn. And Ma, begged not to knit with the knots, does anyhow, making lumpy socks for Pa. "Pa, do not wear those socks!" our heroine pleads, But just as she warned, he hops and yells and bumps right into the beehive. She asks the bees not to sting the brown bear, for, "It's not polite..." But they do, causing the bear to frighten the cows in the barn. They, in turn, run into the house. Amid the chaos our heroine orders them all out, repeating the request that started it all. Will they listen this time? The text sets the tone for the frenetic sequence of actions, starting with the jacket/cover's frisky pooch. With mixed media Hillenbrand deftly creates humanistic animals destined for the messy predicaments that flow across the double pages. The chubby bovines are particularly comic in behavior and expression. We have to smile at the end as the exhausted girl in the chair, cat in lap, declares, "I CANNOT TAKE ANY MORE!" Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2—In this rhyming story, Chaconas brings the domino effect to the farm. When a dog causes a screen door to slam and wake the cat, there's no end to the havoc. The cat puts knots in Ma's knitting yarn, resulting in painful lumpy socks that cause Dad to bump into a beehive, and so on: you get the picture. By the end of the story the cows are back in the barn, the feathers back in the pillow, and the pig-tailed narrator is exhausted from trying to keep order in her little world. The author's bouncy couplets are rhythmically consistent—all the better for reading aloud. Hillenbrand's mixed-media illustrations with characteristic domestic details and expressive faces on both animal and human figures are a spot-on match to the narrative. More than just silly fun at home or at storytime, this title would be useful for teaching cause and effect and prediction.—Lisa Egly Lehmuller, St. Patrick's Catholic School, Charlotte, NC
Kirkus Reviews

This cause-and-effect tale with a catchy rhythm begins with a green-eyed, red-pig-tailed girl shouting: "Please don't slam the door! / Don't slam that old screen door! / A slamming door will wake the cat, / and heaven knows, we don't want that, / so please don't slam that door!" Of course, the hound dog does let the screen door slam, and the cat, unceremoniously awakened, wreaks havoc on Ma's yarn. Ma knits the tangled yarn into socks for Pa, who, disturbed by their lumpiness, bumps the bees. The chaos continues to spread, despite the girl's best efforts to rein it in, until the house is filled with frenzied animals. She shoos them all away with a stern warning NOT to slam the door on their way out! Hillenbrand's charming mixed-media illustrations place just the right amount of surprise and chagrin on the characters' faces and greatly add to the fun. The climactic spread, in which the little girl gives everyone from bees and bear to cows and cat what-for, is a marvel of composition. Begs to be read aloud one-on-one and shared in a storytime setting. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763637095
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
08/10/2010
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 11.04(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Dori Chaconas is the author of many books for young readers, including Virginnie’s Hat, illustrated by Holly Meade. “Our old slamming screen door was a welcome sound,” she ays. It signaled the arrival of family and friends. It promised the best kind of chaos.” She lives in Germantown, Wisconsin.

Will Hillenbrand is the illustrator of dozens of books for young readers, including This Little Piggy by Jane Yolen, Baby Dragon by Amy Ehrlich, and Kiss the Cow! by Phyllis Root. He lives outside of Cincinnati, Ohio.

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