What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a tender, humorous look at a classic childhood situation: being left at home with a babysitter. With no condescension, both the author and illustrator incorporate humor and show the situation through the eyes of the feisty, resourceful child.
What's the story?
Told in the first person, the story features an only child whose parents are going out for the evening. The little girl is adamantly opposed to the plan and makes several valiant attempts to change things. She warns her parents of the terrible things that might happen if they leave, she offers to go with them, she suggests that one of them stay home with her, and then she runs away (to the front hall closet). When the babysitter arrives, the little girl makes one last desperate attempt by saying that she will leave for the South Pole after her parents go out and possibly never return. As it turns out, she has a savvy, delightful teenaged babysitter named Sarah, and they have a wonderful evening eating pepperoni/pineapple pizza, painting their nails silver and purple, and putting on clown make-up.
Is it any good?
First-person narrative and an appealing little girl make the emotions in this utterly delightful story readily accessible. She speaks directly to the reader in an informal, contemporary manner, in a charming attempt to get the reader on her side. The character is assertive, creative, and determined in her attempt to dissuade her parents from going out for the evening, yet endearingly vulnerable and young at the same time.
The parents are also well-drawn: They appear to be prosperous, reasonable, middle-class parents who love their daughter and are prepared to deal patiently with her worries. While listening and responding to the barrage from their daughter, they give her reassuring but not cloying responses, and go about the business of preparing to go out. The fun that she has with the understanding teenage babysitter and the little girl's report about her evening to her parents end the story on a high note.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the girl's reaction to the idea of spending a night with a sitter. What emotions do you think she's feeling? Why?