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CRANKY PANTS

Author: Stephen Sanzo

Illustrator: Matt Whitlock

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Publisher: Cranky Pants Publishing, LLC,

Material: hard cover

Summary: In this first-person story, a young boy tells us about a day he would have rather spent in bed! From a bad dreams to a rainy day to not knowing what to draw. He is having a bad day. Will he go to bed cranky, too? This picture book helps children understand the idea of being cranky as a simple, happens-to-everyone emotion.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 9 and Up

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Age of Child: Started reading with 5-year-old child.

Young Reader Reaction: Our child loved saying "cranky pants" on every page (even though it doesn't call for it!) S/He could definitely relate to the emotions: frustration, anger, bad dreams.

Adult Reader Reaction: This was a perfect presentation of the idea that sometimes people just have a bad day. The story relied on things that matter to kids to give them perspective, and neither criticized nor glorified the emotions. The illustrations are simple and comlementary. They convey emotion without taking over.

Pros: This is a book that makes it easy for kids to grasp the idea that sometimes being angry is "bigger" than just a broken toy. Some days, we just don't like to smile. It's not a bad reminder for big kids, too.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This book will be handy to have for toddlers, preschoolers and kids in elementary school. The last group will be able to read this book themselves in short order. The repetition and use of lots of sight words make this a good early reader choice.

If You Liked This Book, Try: FEELINGS: A FIRST POEM BOOK ABOUT FEELINGS (Patchwork Series)   DAVID GETS IN TROUBLE   PATCH THE PORCUPINE AND THE BIKE SHOP JOB

Educational Themes: The young narrator makes it easy to talk about emotions. Just asking questions about the picture you can have great conversations. Although the premise is that the young boy woke up on the wrong side of the bed, there are plenty of emtions to share: grumpy, bad moods, frustration, anger, love, and, not to mention, finding ways to feel better.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, emotions

Date(s) Reviewed: April 2007

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