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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Families need to know that Peterrific is a spin-off of Victoria Kahn's Pinkalicious series that stars Peter, the younger brother of Pinkalicious. Here Peter decides to build a giant tower to the stars "all by myself" but gets some kind help from Pinkalicious. His tower goes as high as the moon, but then he feels lonely and hungry and there's no way for him to get down. After spending a cold night alone in the sky atop his tower, he figures out how to make a parachute out of blankets and floats back to his front yard, where his family is waiting. He doesn't get in trouble. In fact his parents encourage him to redesign and rebuild his tower. His next design includes a slide to come down on.
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What's the story?
In PETERRIFIC, Pikalicious' little brother finally gets his own story instead of being a helper in hers. He decides to build a giant tower out of blocks so high he can "get a star from the sky and give it to Mommy." He claims he wants to build it "all by myself," but Pinkalicious helps him and borrows more blocks from a neighbor. Peter ends up stopping once he gets close to the moon and remembers that he's "all alone" and it's dark and cold and he's hungry. But he spends the night up there and in the morning makes a parachute ouf of blankets and floats back down to his yard, where his parents and Pinkalicious are waiting. He doesn't get in trouble. In fact his dad encourages him to build another tower after he redesigns it. "Your next tower should be a little smaller and safer, and you will definitely need a proper way to get down," says Mommy.
Is it any good?
It's nice for Peter to get his own picture book, but this story has a few things that don't add up. Peterrific, like the Pinkalicious books, mixes everyday kid behavior with fantasy elements to create an appealing story. But this one's a bit odd, with mixed messages about doing something "all by myself" but getting help and fearlessly completing a great engineering feat -- building a tower to the stars out of blocks -- but facing no consequences, neither injury nor punishment for going rogue and doing something risky.
It's a puzzling adventure, but kids will probably enjoy Peter's skill and enthusiasm, the colorful building project, and the sweet sibling bond, and they'll absorb the cautionary message that when you choose to do something alone, you could end up feeling lonely.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Peter's desire to build a tower "all by myself" in Peterrific. Have you ever felt like showing you can do something extraordinary without other people's help? How did it make you feel, if you were able to do it?
What's the downside of doing something by yourself? Do you think you might get lonely like Peter does?
Peter and Pinkalicious get along well. Do you get along with your brother or sister? What kinds of projects have you worked on together?
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