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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tidy, by Emily Gravett. Two Hoots, Pan Macmillan. Publishers Group Canada, 2016. $24.99 ages 5 and up

"So when a leaf fell,
well ...

Pete tidied up.

But still he wasn't happy,
Now the trees looked
bare and scrappy.
And so, to make it all
look neat,
Pete undertook a ... "

Pete is a neatnik! He loves order in everything he does and sees. Can it be a problem, do you think?
I think that is likely true for those who know him, and for Pete himself.

There is nothing that escapes Pete's watchful eye ... from those flowers that don't match the patch, to the knots and twigs in fox's fur, to the falling leaves and bare trees. Poor Pete! His work never ends.
He is very good at his job. Kids will love watching Pete as he goes about his business, and the methods that he uses to neaten everything up. They'll have a hoot at his solution to bare trees - just dig them up! But, wait! What else is happening?

Pete is sure that he has the acceptable solution. Now, the forest is looks just right! Only then, does Pete discover the interconnections in nature. One thing out of place and all are affected. This eco-friendly tale teaches its lesson without any hoopla, or unnecessary word. Emily Gravett's perfect and gentle message will not be lost on the children who share this book; yet, they won't even realize that each time it is read (and it will be read often) they are learning about loss of habitat, the importance of protecting natural spaces, and community building.

Check every page carefully for humor, expression, and wonder. Share it often and out loud to hear the pleasing rhymes, to talk about the shared learning and to enjoy another brilliant book from this talented and thoughtful artist. If you're a fan already, you are sure to recognize some of your favorite animal characters!


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