The Sleep Over Critique


Hard to believe Fall’s spectacular colors are flaming out our window, so many trees standing in the Pacific Northwest rain.  With Halloween sneaking up, we had a sleepover / party weekend to celebrate.  In between face painting, costume changes, playing dolls and walking the neighborhood dogs; the girls found my stack of library books.  Don’t panic.  Let’s back up and clarify.

I’ve decided to be a children’s book writer when I grow up.  Part of this commitment is research, research and research–including reading the newest kidlit additions at our local library!  It’s typical to have a stack of 20 or more bright and colorful books lying about the house. SuWeet!

Back to last weekend.  Picture three forth grade girls, Monster-Highed, pre-sugared and raring to go…at 11:30 p.m.  Yep. In a last ditch attempt to delay bedtime, one guest asked me to get her a drink.  My daughter Raynee and I had been reading Steve Anthony’s Please, Mr. Panda and we were both like, “Nope, sorry.  I’ve changed my mind.” Smiling, of course.

Kids' Book Review: Review: Please Mr Panda

I’m so not techie, but here is the link to Steve Anthony’s Facebook post when he won the GOLD STAR Award by NAPPA (National Parenting Publications Awards:

Long story short, my husband and I read the book to the girls together, hoping to wind things down.  It was an absolute hit–naturally!    The next morning, the girls read two other books from the stack during breakfast.  I was able to hear some of the conversation and thought it would be super fun to share their “critiques” with the universe.

Fortunately for everyone, fourth graders are somewhat concise and matter of fact.  Please enjoy their thoughts on Please, Mr. Panda;  I Don’t Want to Be a Frog, by Dev Petty, and What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot, by Michelle Robinson.

Please Mr. Panda

Favorite parts:

Raynee: (In a deep voice) “No, you may not have a donut.”   She loves doing the ending in a high voice, but we don’t want to ruin that for the readers!)

Ava (giggling): “What the heck does he have donuts for anyway?  That’s what I want to know.” (Edited for the reader. No spoiler alert here!)

Reegan: (in an equally deep voice) “No. You can not have a donut.  I have changed my mind.”  This is no surprise.  When Reegan sets her mind to something, that’s it!

Mom:  Nothing but giggles!

I Don’t Want to Be a Frog , written by Dev Petty. Illustrated by Mike Boldt

Here’s a link to Publisher’s Weekly review:

RayneeHands on hips, head held high,” I Don’t Want to Be a Frog.”  I love that one!

Ava: Ha ha! Look at his mouth! I want to be a rabbit, too! 

Reegan: My favorite line is “I don’t like to eat frogs.”  Then continues in her Dad voice, “No you can not be that because you are a frog.”

Mom: Lots of giggles!.

What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot

 By Michelle Robinson

 Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (love!)

What To Do With An Elephant is not a new book.  That’s because this weeks’ library trip was devoted to Peter H. Reynolds, after watching a fantastic webinar on

Julie Hedlund’s 12 x 12 group!

The bonus is that Raynee and I got to read Michelle’s new book, The Forgetful Knight, which is super fun.  Raynee said he was a lot like me. How am I supposed to argue the truth?  Here is a link o Michelle’s Facebook page (Hopefully):

Raynee: That [elephant book] is so funny!! My favorite part is “Do not climb the tree because there are snakes in the tree.”

Ava: I picked this book to read!  It was funny!

Reegan: I, Yvette, am sad to have not written down Reegan’s response.  However, it would make SO MUCH SENSE if her favorite part is the monkeys.  I think Raynee and Ava would agree 🙂

Bottom line?  These three 9 year olds have been quoting all three books since Friday.  Congratulations, authors and illustrators.  These books are a hit all the way around!




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s