A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this simple story and soft illustrations may draw young children in, but the text won't hold them.
Is It Any Good?
It’s hard to tell whether this book is intended for a toddler who gets into everything and is occasionally yelled at, or for a toddler's mother who, at times, loses patience and yells. The book doesn't fit either group: The toddler won't understand the subtle concepts involving accidents, impatience, and losing one's temper, and a mother might feel guilty about being upset with her kids.
Although the text is appropriate for first-graders who read on their own, the subject matter is too babyish for them; kids like to read about kids their own age or 1 to 2 years older. On a positive note, both Harriet's and her mother's faces show a wide array of emotions in Marla Frazee's realistic illustrations. Anger, frustration, and final loss of control are wonderfully drawn on the bug-eyed mom, and it's obvious Harriet is truly sorry for her spills.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate