A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What 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.
What's the story?
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.