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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Unraveling Rose, written by Brian Wray and illustrated by Shiloh Penfield. Schiffer Publishing, Thomas Allen & Son, 2017. $22.99 ages 4 and up

"Life was just the way she
wanted it, and Rose did
everything she could to
keep it that way.
If the books on the shelf
weren't straight, Rose
wanted to straighten them.
At tea time, Rose made sure ... "

My granddaughter Chelsea has a very special companion. Her name is Lady Grey, and she goes anywhere that Chelsea goes. The nearly two year old  is not always careful with her rabbit. In the summer, while they were here visiting, Lady Grey made a few toilet plunges.  Chelsea is reprimanded by her older sister for being careless in caring for her. Sicily has been known to pick her up from the sidewalk and carry Lady Grey, letting everyone know that Chelsea 'is not a good listener'; she should not be left in charge of her best friend's safety. Chelsea loves that wee bunny with everything in her, and is seldom seen without her close by. I now have a special love for stuffed bunnies.

Rose is a sweet little bunny, and readers will feel an immediate connection to her. The little boy who loves her is much like Chelsea. The two doing everything together ... bedtime hugs, park play, reading stories. All is well until the day Rose notices a loose thread on her arm. Rose likes things to be orderly, and that tiny thread throws her off her game. She experiences such concern that she cannot concentrate on the many things she loves to do. She can only give her full attention to that loose thread.

She must fix it. As she tries, the thread gets longer, and longer, and longer. Rose is ashamed that she can't keep from pulling on the thread, always trying to fix it. Rose's arm becomes unstuffed. It takes up all of her attention, and means she can't do those things she usually loves to do. Finally, gathering up all of her courage, she works to fix her arm. In doing so, she begins to understand that not everything needs to be perfect.
A gentle introduction to OCD, and an opportunity to begin a discussion about differences, the author
offers a hopeful tale for children and parents, as well as some helpful advice in back matter.   


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