Social Skill Wrapped in Hilarity: Bossy Flossy written and illustrated by Paulette Bogan. Book Review.

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Click here to buy Bossy Flossy

It is such a great feeling when I find a picture book that both my granddaughter and I enjoy. Bossy Flossy had turned us into Paulette Bogan fans by the third page.

Flossy butts heads with everyone, including her toys. The book begins with Flossy standing in the middle of her bedroom telling all her toys what to do. With one hand on her hip and the other pointing, she demands, “Sit up straight. Look at me. Listen to me. Pay attention. Do what I tell you.” She is bossy to her cat, her little brother, and even her mother.

Although flossy is a simple, cartoonish character, her big wild red hair, her dramatic gestures, and her expressive face make her a real person and a force to be reckoned with.

Flossy does not understand that she is being bossy. When she is sent to her room, she tells herself, “I’m not bossy. Mom is bossy. She always tells me what to do. She never listens to me. I’m just trying to tell her something.” We realize that Flossy doesn’t see herself the way others do. As well, we aren’t sure about her interpretation of her mother’s behavior. Maybe Mom is bossy. At times, it seems as though Flossie is trying to be helpful but is unaware of the effect her behavior has on others. She tells a classmate how to paint and then takes the press and draw the line on her artwork. She orders another classmate to wear a hat she has chosen to complete his dress-up costume.

When a new boy, Edward, joins her class, Flossy meets her match in the overbearing department. Frustrated, Flossie challenges Edward but he doesn’t back down. The argument escalates until they are both sent to timeout. There, they agreed to stop bossing others. They both improve and become great friends.

Although it might sound like a didactic book, it really isn’t. Bogan disarms us completely with humor and charm. Children might identify with Flossy’s problem but will find her behavior intriguing and silly. If you have an overly dominant child, I would avoid discussing bossiness immediately after reading this. It is such a delightful book, you wouldn’t want to spoil it. After reading it a couple of times, you might want to bring up the difference between being bossy and being helpful, taking turns, listening to others, and so on. In my home, “Bossy Flossy” has become a code that can make either my granddaughter or myself stop and think about how our words sound to the other person. Even if you don’t have a bossy member in your family, this book can be just pure fun to read.

The illustrations are interesting in that they appear to be drawn individually, cut out and arranged on the page. This could be a fun art activity to do with your child. You can both draw and cut out several different characters and then arrange them into different story scenes.

Highly recommended both for fun and value.

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An interview with the author, Paulette Bogan, will be posted on this blog, March 8, 2017.

A copy of this book was generously donated by the author to my Little Free Library.

Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? Words and pictures by Mo Willems.

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Using his favorite characters, Willems tells the story of the little duckling who receives an nutty cookie and attracts the ire of Pigeon. Pigeon goes off on a rant about how he asks for all sorts of things, several humorous and unreasonable, and gets nothing. He resents that “ducklings get everything”. He finally asks “why did you get that cookie!?!” To which duckling responds, “So I could give it to you.”

While it’s a pretty simple story, it does open the door to discussions on entitlement, jealousy, generosity, assumptions, and other aspects of relationships. It’s also just plain funny.

BUY The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? (Pigeon)

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages

Garland, Sally Anne. Share. Book Review.

Click here to buy Share

The characters in this picture book are line drawn anthropomorphized rabbits. The older rabbit tries to share everything with her smaller cousin as encouraged by her mother. He pulls her teddy bear out of shape, bounces on her bed, breaks her bead necklace, wiggles incessantly while she tries to read, blocks her view of the television, scribbles on her picture, and smashes her plate. Her mother explains that her cousin wants to be just like the older rabbit. When it is time for the little rabbit to leave, he hugs her and says, “thank you”. After, she sort of misses him.

The story is engaging. Many children will be able to relate to the frustrated older rabbit and how difficult it is to share with someone who doesn’t use things the same way.

Pictures are line drawings combined with paint. The words appear within the one or two page illustrations. Important phrases are typed in bold letters. The only area that needed improvement was syllabication of the rhymes. The beat was lost on occasion.

This would be a lovely book to read to a child who is expected to share with a younger relative or friend.

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Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages