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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Nobody's Perfect, written by David Elliott and illustrated by Sam Zuppardi. Candlewick Press, Random House. 2015. $19.00 ages 3 and up

"And even my mom.

She gave me a time-out.
That's why I'm
sitting on this step ...

even though it's
not my fault that
Ralphie likes to sleep
on my bed."

Oh, there was a time when I needed the reminder that the title of this book assures. Don't we all work too hard to do the right thing, say the right thing, get everything right at one time or another? We know that we aren't, but we are not always content with that. It's an important lesson to learn ... nobody is perfect. No matter how hard we may work at it.

So, I began this book with a sense of serenity. It's a term oft heard. I no longer worry much about it. But the little boy who sits forlornly on the bottom step might need to be convinced. If he looks around, he knows the adage is correct. His sister may be cute and awfully cuddly, she is not 'perfect'. She is LOUD when she doesn't get what she wants. His best friend wants everyone to be paying attention to him. His mother doesn't fit the bill, either ... she is much too quick with the time-outs, and not apt to listen to excuses.

As he goes about letting us know that he's not perfect, we get to see his room before and after cleaning. What a hoot! His foray into painting will remind many parents of their own experiences with artistic expression. So, messy is his schtick, and that makes him not quite perfect. Is that such a bad thing, really?

I love the loose lines of the acrylic and pencil illustrations created by Sam Zuppardi. The child is an
'every child', and could easily be someone living in your house or mine. The energy displayed on every page has real appeal; my favorite images are the two views of the bedroom. Filled with familiar items, and the disarray that those with children know so well.

 Perfection is not an attainable goal. This book helps us be OK with that!

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