Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Alphonse, That is Not Ok to Do!

  Sibling behavior is a theme in families who have had a new little one join the circle. Sometimes there are those tender moments, when the older child is gently patting the head of the new baby. But then there are those moments when the little one does something to drive the bigger one bonkers. Who better than bold red and blue monsters with elegant names to present this drama? 
   In Alphonse,That is Not Ok to Do!, the whole story becomes a humorous romp by Daisy Hirst, an author/illustrator who admits to " doodling monsters all over everything for years." Natalie is the first born, who appears on page one dangling from the orange and purple arms of her parents, But her moment of glory is short. Here comes Alphonse, in blue. Natalie gets along with her most of the time. But Alphonse draws on things that Natalie makes, or worse-Alphonse eats them. One day, Alphonse commits the unthinkable and eats Natalie's favorite book, prompting the title in bold print.
   Natalie takes her anger out in an artful expression, and then goes to take a bath to ignore Alphonse. Hirst's crayon drawings of noises that remind her of tornadoes, "screeching beasts" and more fill Natalie's imagination. After the bath, Natalie learns what has happened.She gets a better perspective.
 The resolution is charming and sweet, the kind of thing parents of caregivers would love to see happen when two sibs have had a rough moment.
   If your family is having these kinds of issues, we have a great variety of picture books to help address the challenges of sibling rivalry.You might try Me, First by Max Kornell,a story is about two little donkeys who keep trying to out do the other, or Fine as We Are, one of my very favorite frog books, written by Algy Craig Hall. In Fine As We Are, the treat is that frogs have many siblings all at once! The first born has a little more to get used to! Good luck,froggie! 

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