Thursday, August 11, 2011
Thumb Love, written and illustrated by Elise Primavera. Random House, 2010. $19.99 ages 3 and up
"1. Are you tired of being
controlled by your thumb?
2. Are you sick of being
called a baby?
3. Is your thumb ruining
your good looks?"
Lulu loves her thumb! She can't help it...it's been with her ever since she can remember, and offers security and companionship whenever needed. She and her thumb have a mutual admiration society.
Grandma is first to question her attachment. Soon others are noticing and snickering, even children at the beach. Her mother suggests that it might cause future problems with her teeth. Lulu is unperturbed....until her cousin Lili, who has always been a fellow thumb-sucker, laughs and warns of imminent speech impediments.
Lulu's dreams that night are filled with sticking out teeth, bad speech and a resolve to invent a twelve step program for quitting her thumb-sucking habit. It all seems so simple to her. But her thumb has other ideas...it doesn't want to be ignored, it misses their frequent visits, it cries and wails. Lulu has many setbacks, but Play-Doh, Tabasco, a sock and wedging help.
The days pass and her dependence wanes...just as we knew that it would. Finally, with the support of family and friends, some setbacks and a strong constitution, Lulu is able to kick the habit. She is proud enough of herself to get out there and spread the message...finding love of a totally different kind.
The accompanying ink and watercolor illustrations add humor and expression to this woeful tale of kicking a habit. I love the conversational style and the thumb character. It has so much to lose and is constantly letting readers know just how Lulu is feeling about her decision to quit:
"I know...we'll watch TV, hide behind the couch, and stay under the blanket in our bedroom."
Kids will love hearing this story read aloud...it is such an opportunity for fun and laughter.