Friday, January 11, 2008

No Biting, Louise by Margie Palatini illustrated by Matthew Reinhart

No Biting, Louise is the latest from Margie Palatini, the author of several funny children's books. Louise is an alligator (it never states that specifically, she could be a crocodile, I suppose) who is in a "biting, gnawing, chomping" stage. Parents of "biters" are all too familiar with this stage in childhood development. Louise cannot resist biting other animals' hindsides and/or limbs when they come close. Even Grandmama Sadie gets her finger caught in Louise's sharp chompers. The turning point in the story, when Louise learns to stop biting, comes and goes. Just like that, she stops biting. I felt let down with this lack of resolve in the storyline. The author missed a golden opportunity to have Louise learn her lesson when, earlier at the beach, Louise grabs hold of one particular animal who gives Louise some little souvenirs as reminders to not bite him again. The best part of this book is the illustrations. Reinhart does a wonderful job bringing Louise and her family to life. Bright, bold, sharp figures and colors on every page will hold any child's attention.

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