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“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read.”
Summary: Nanny (an alligator) takes a toddler (Ella) and infant (Tom, both pigs) for a walk in the park. She has misplaced her glasses and can’t see well without them, but she ventures out anyway. Along the way, a robin, a rabbit, a duck, and a goat jump into the baby carriage with the piglet. The little girl tells Nanny what happens as each animal jumps in, but the Nanny doesn’t believe her because she doesn’t see it. Finally, a wolf jumps into the carriage and eats all the animals and the baby. Nanny still doesn’t believe the toddler, but senses something is wrong. She finds her glasses (on top of her head!), and fixes the situation, extracting the animals and the baby from the wolf’s belly. The little girl gets the last word: “I told you so!” This is a book where the unimaginable really does happen.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yoursef: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Reading Level: 2.9
Age of Child: Read with children ages 3 and 5.
Young Reader Reaction: My kids were pretty neutral about this book. There wasn't much reaction when I read it, and they weren't interested in hearing it again.
Adult Reader Reaction: I did not like this book at all. The Nanny seemed incompetent (not listening to the child or taking her seriously!) and the little girl seemed condescending. I disapprove of the phrase “I told you so!” and I did not appreciate a book with that phrase as its moral, so I did not read this book to my children more than once. This is a personal hang-up, so I’m not sure other parents would react as strongly. I am likely to stick to Little Red Riding Hood if I want to read a story about a wolf eating people, or maybe the 3 Little Pigs if I want a story about doing things the RIGHT way in the first place.
Pros: The pictures in this story are cute ... and kids may like that the Nanny can rescue the animals from the wolf.
Cons: If you're kids like to imitate the things they hear, then you may want to think aobut sharing this book. It would be pretty easy for them to start saying "I told you so" to to each other and think it is okay to say that to to adults.
Borrow or Buy: Skip. Despite the cute illustrations, there are some issues that pop up. Some may see this as too violent, others may see this as reinforcing rude behavior.
Educational Themes: You could use this book to talk about the importance of listening. Just because something doesn't sound true, doesn't mean it isn't!
Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, grandparents, family