The Almost Terrible Playdate
The Almost Terrible Playdate
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Annotation: A young boy and girl, with very different ideas about what they want to play, face off during a play date.
Catalog Number: #112627
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-553-51099-1
ISBN 13: 978-0-553-51099-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2015004734
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
In squiggly colored-pencil and ink drawings accentuated with charming thought bubbles, Torrey captures the sprite antics of a mismatched play date. The story opens with a seemingly easy question hat do you want to play?" d a boy and girl propose games (which are quite gendered) on facing pages, foreshadowing their ensuing drama. The boy and girl alternate suggesting and rejecting ideas, and as their ideas escalate in intensity, both of the kids, in their color-coded, scribbled thought bubbles, creatively imagine the destructions of the other's idea, which imbues the conflict with wit and charm. "What if I'm a ballet instructor and you're in my ballet school?" asks the girl, while the boy imagines himself frowning while wearing a tutu. The boy's suggestion elicits a similar response from the girl, and so it continues until they wonder whether they can play together at all. Playing alone is not as much fun, however, and as the story progresses, they learn a valuable and entertaining lesson about compromise. A playful and accessible introduction to cooperation.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1 Having a playdate can be the best, but agreeing on what to play is another story. Two children exchange ideas, but neither one is willing to compromise and accept the other's suggestions. When the girl posits that she is a wizard and that the boy is a frog-turned-pony on which her doll can ride, the boy is frustrated imagining himself a frog. When the boy suggests they both be race cars competing for the title of Champion of the Universe, the girl imagines covering her ears at the deafening sound. The story continues back and forth, until the action reaches a crescendo and the children resolve to play alone. That is, until they find a way for their ideas to coexist. The art is consistent throughout, showing each child in black pencil outline with single-colored clothing and their ideas illustrated to life in the corresponding color of their clothes. There are no background illustrations, so the eye focuses directly on the images each child is conjuring through his or her ideas. Often the imagined self of the child is taking on the same pose as the real-life child while they are going back and forth. VERDICT A clever story of dueling imaginations. Matthew C. Winner, Ducketts Lane Elementary School, Elkridge, MD
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ALA Booklist (2/1/16)
School Library Journal (1/1/16)
Word Count: 385
Reading Level: 2.9
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.9 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 181006 / grade: Lower Grades

“A delightful look at the importance of compromise among friends.”—Kirkus

Ideal for all families who have ever heard (or said!) the words “Why can’t you both JUST GET ALONG?!”, here is the story of two young children with VERY different ideas of what they want to play. What starts with an innocent question (“What do you want to play?”) soon veers hilariously toward chaos, as two children engage in the age-old struggle of princesses, ponies, and ballet vs. dinosaurs, dragons, and race cars. Which child will win? Or will both find a way to play nicely together?
In a humorous mock–epic battle staged with crayon illustrations of each child’s increasingly steadfast and elaborate ideas of what they want to play, Richard Torrey taps into the charged and volatile emotions of childhood, which every parent and child will recognize with a smile. It’s a lighthearted and funny way to reflect on the ideas of sharing, cooperation, patience, and generosity.

“A clever story of dueling imaginations.”School Library Journal

“A playful and accessible introduction to cooperation.”—Booklist  

“Friendship, it seems, like make-believe, takes an act of imagination.”—The New York Times

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