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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Chu's Day, written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Adam Rex. Harper, 2013. $19.99 ages 3 and up

"At lunchtime, Chu went
with his father to the diner.

There was a lot of pepper
in the air...

"Are you going to sneeze?"
asked his father."

There is grave concern over the effects of Chu's sneezes. Apparently, he can cause a good deal of chaos. Authors are inspired to write stories for many reasons. This one began for Neil Gaiman with a visit to China and the chance to cuddle a tiny panda cub while there. I'm not sure about the sneeze; but, in imagining a panda with a powerful AH-CHOO! he has created a charming and sure-to-be-loved tale for tots.

He is very proud of Chu, and should be.Chu is a winning character! Adam Rex brings him to glorious life and purposefully sets out to entertain young readers with his handsomely goggled bear who wears a winsome smile and an aura of vulnerability.

He awakens early with a yawn to the sound of birdsong; looking a trifle apprehensive at the author's description of him:

"When Chu sneezed, bad things happened."

Oh boy, that is some foreshadowing for young readers. Chu and his mother make an morning trip to the library, where reading is rife and the room is abuzz with activity. Book dust in the air causes concern. Mother wonders if he is going to sneeze. It seems so; nope, disaster averted!

He and his father have no difficulty at the diner, despite the abundance of pepper. Once again, the goggles and aviator helmet seem to have a calming effect. A trip to the circus warrants careful concern, but his parents are so busy watching all the action that Chu's warning goes unheeded. Big
T-R-O-U-B-L-E! The repercussions are widespread.

Oh yes! That was some sneeze!

So much to see when you share this with little ones...and such delightful enjoyment for all. Be ready for much sneezing as you make your way through the day that follows.

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