Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/01/2010 Though known for her tantrums and often in trouble, Lucy promises to be on her best behavior when her elderly great-aunt from Holland comes for an extended visit in Adelaide, Australia. Old-fashioned Tante Bep terrifies Lucy with tales of naughty children taken away before Christmas, but as she discovers, her aunt has a softer side as well. Lucy’s problems multiply until a crisis brings help, both at home and at school. Musgrove, an Australian writer, creates a sympathetic character in Lucy, who has strong emotions and, initially, no effective ways to control them. Well-intentioned but ill-fated, her attempts to change herself from Lucy the Bad to Lucy the Good will strike a chord with many readers. Orsini’s many gray-washed drawings capture the characters’ actions and emotions with wit and verve. A glossary of Dutch words, a recipe for Dutch spice cookies, and two blank pages (for writing down anger-management techniques) are appended to this sometimes amusing, sometimes touching chapter book. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 11/01/2010 Lucy can feel her temper rising, but she hasn’t learned how to stop it before it erupts-and lands her in a heap of trouble. Though she feels rather hard done by-in her mind, she’s just responding to life’s temptations and provocations-she’s got a rep as a bad kid as a result of her temper. When an opinionated aunt comes for an extended stay with her family, Lucy makes a concerted effort to become Lucy the Good. All goes well for a while, until she has a tête-à-tête with her teacher that results in a foolish experiment to prove whether she is good or bad that leads to even more trouble for young Lucy. This Australian import perceptively conveys the experience of being inside the head of a kid in the stages leading up to a tantrum. More often than not, the initial conflict is minor, but Lucy has a habit of digging herself deeper and deeper that will be familiar to many young readers. The characterizations are solid and the dynamics authentic, and the conclusion, wherein Lucy and her teacher sit down and talk about her tendencies and how they can work together to address them, is both realistic and heartening. Occasional ink illustrations offer tidy, occasionally humorously tinged interpretations of the storyline as well as a sprinkling of decorative spot art. Musgrove approaches the topic of anger management with a light hand, and there is plentiful humor thrown in along the way; add to that an endearing if somewhat obstinate protagonist and you’ve got a thoughtful, entertaining entry for the elementary set. HM - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2010 Gr 2–4—Seven-year-old Lucy van Loon lives in Australia with her parents and brother, and she is pretty sure she's a good girl. Every now and then, something unexpected will happen, though, and Lucy is unable to control her temper. When Tante Bep comes from Holland for an extended visit, she is concerned about the lack of discipline in the household, and Lucy boils over with rage. She becomes nervous when her great aunt tells her about Sinterklaas (the Dutch Santa Claus) and his friend Zwarte Piet, who spirits bad children away to Spain forever. She panics about all of the misunderstandings she has been caught up in and decides to be only "Lucy the Good." When Lucy's dad finds her in the creek, testing to see if she will float like a bad egg or sink like a good one, all of the child's troubles come tumbling out. A tender story for readers who have a hard time controlling their emotions, this easy chapter book hints at ways for kids to manage their feelings, and the satisfactory conclusion will be reassuring. Orsini's artwork complements the well-paced story and gives visual representation to some of the Dutch items.—Alison Donnelly, Collinsville Memorial Public Library, IL - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.