Bound To Stay Bound

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Full Text Reviews:

Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2012 “Yesterday I woke up and Bob was crawling around my room licking my jewelry . . . So I shouted, Get out of my room! And that was the start of my no, no, no day,” says young Bella. Thus begins a bad day, in which Bella revolts against her breakfast egg, angrily kicks off her shoes, protests being confined to a shopping cart (with baby brother Bob), refuses to play nicely at her playdate, pitches a fit at ballet class, and so on until her increasingly bad temper ends in a total meltdown at bedtime. As her patient mother tells her goodnight, Bella makes a confession, “Today was a very bad day, Mommy. Sorry.” Her mother reassures her that everyone has those days and that “perhaps you will be more cheerful tomorrow! And . . . I WAS! I WAS! I was cheerful . . . ALL DAY LONG!” Young children (especially those with oft-admired adorable baby siblings) will appreciate Patterson’s vivid storytelling, sympathize with Bella and her many woes, and find relief and reassurance in the message that bad days don’t last forever. The lively and detailed art features muted and pastel tones, against which stocky brunette Bella in her red dress and shoes stands out. Patterson is particularly deft at portraying Bella’s emotional state through her dramatic posture as she throws out her hands in defiance, clenches her fists in frustration, or prostrates herself on the ground in a fit, all while her eyes squint grumpily and her mouth is perpetually open in vehement verbal protest. Cute baby Bob is clearly bewildered by his sister’s emotional state, while Bella’s put-upon mother exhibits the kind of weary, grim-lipped endurance that will be familiar to many parents. This might be a good one to tuck away for a similarly dreadful day or to use as discussion about bad days for those too little for Viorst’s Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day (BCCB 12/72). JH - Copyright 2012 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.

School Library Journal - 07/01/2012 PreS-K—From the moment young Bella opens her eyes, the day goes downhill. She chases her baby brother out of her room when she catches him eating her jewelry, has a problem with her breakfast egg, hates her shoes, and won't cooperate in the supermarket or at playgroup. Ballet is "tooo itchy," her peas too hot, her bath too cold, the toothpaste too minty, and, of course, going to bed is out of the question. Only after a story and cuddle does she calm down with Mom's reassurance, "We all have those days sometimes, but perhaps you will be more cheerful tomorrow!" And sure enough, she is. Patterson's watercolor cartoons are hilarious, depicting a crying, tantrum-throwing preschooler who flings her shoes in the air; tries to climb out of the shopping cart; and lies on the sidewalk, leg aloft, to win the sympathy of passersby because her foot hurts. On a page of sequential drawings, Bella is on the floor shouting, "No bed no no...bed" while her body goes through various contortions. All her protestations appear in extra-large black type throughout. And through it all, her mom is ever-patient, though she looks more bedraggled as the day wears on. Tetchy preschoolers are not new to picture books, but any youngster who has experienced similar days will readily relate to Bella and be comforted to know that sunnier days do lie ahead.—Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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