Parents' Guide to

Leave Me Alone!

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Granny treks off to knit in peace in funny modern folktale.

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A classic-sounding folktale takes an unexpected and funny space-age turn in this story that sends a Russian granny on a journey to the moon and beyond. Author-illustrator Vera Brosgol's debut picture book is highly inventive. Readers will enjoy the pitch-perfect folktale start and howl at the humor. When the grandkids are "very curious about her knitting," one girl stuffs a ball of yarn in her little brother's mouth: "Could you make your brother eat it?" Other kids wonder, "Why did the ball get smaller and smaller as you chased it?"

Leave Me Alone! has a perfect balance of text and art. Mountain goats who are happy the old woman "brought snacks" are shown passed out in drunk-like stupors after gorging on yarn. And the little moon-men have scanners that say "beep boop" -- so fun to say! There's also storytelling know-how in the repeated chant. And though it looks a little odd to modern eyes to see all-white faces in such a huge mess of kids, it's a Russian village and family. When the old woman's "important knitting" turns out to be 30 sweaters for the very same grandkids who brought her to "the end of her rope," the touch of sweetness is just right.

Book Details

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