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Summary: Philip loved his new present from Grandma Gertrude: a camera! He wanted to remember his special day and started taking pictures of everyone who came to celebrate with him. But his sister Cynthia made sure she was in every one ... and Philip got more annoyed with each shot. Then he snapped. Now he was mad and Cynthia was sad. Was there a way to fix it? This is a picture book that explores ego, empathy, and understanding.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book, middle grade reader
Recommended Age: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with 4½-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: Beyond commenting that Cynthia wasn't very nice, our child didn't have much to say about this book. It wasn't one we could bring her back to share again.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is an excellent story, and we would like to revisit it with our daughter again, maybe when she is six. We like how it covers the full range of emotions for Philip, and how he studied the situation (after Cynthia was crying) and came up with an idea that would bring him happiness, too.
Pros: This picture book presents emotions and events that every child (even those without siblings) can relate to. Although Philip's birthday is the catalyst, it is easy to apply this to other events, too.
Cons: The illustrations, while colorful, don't really do the story justice. It might actually be fun (since this is a story about pictures) to use photographs to illustrate the book.
Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is book that will come in handy more than once, particularly if you have more than one child at home.
Educational Themes: With this book you can explore emotions, problem solving, and create "what would you do" discussions. This is perfect for social stories where you are working through sibling rivalry, selfishness, or sharing.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family
Date(s) Reviewed: October 2007
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