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“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
Summary: Nothing is going right for Moush today. He frustrates his mom and makes his sister angry, so she tattles on him. Now Moush is mad, too! He decides to hid in the closet, and while he's there, he comes up with a plan to run away. He's thinking about all of the things he'll need. Then the questions start: who will take care of me if I get sick? Who will read me bedtime stories? I won't be able to visit Grandma. Can he just take everyone with him? This picture book offers lessons in dealing with anger, having a bad day, and running away from home.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, anytime reading, family reading, playtime reading, learning to read, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 6 to 9
Interest Level: 4 to 8
Age of Child: Read with a 7-year-old girl.
Young Reader Reaction: This book resonated with our daughter. She understood the anger, could see why Moush's sister would be angry, and also related to his desire to escape from a bad day. As she listened to Moush's questions and observations, her mood changed and she began to think more logically ... just like Moush.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a deceptive book - in a good way. The plot is predictable, but the simple presentation is very powerful, and there are several layers. The story balances the "heat of the moment" with the realities of putting the plan in action. We focused on the idea that everyone has a special "cool down spot" to help them when they are angry. The story speaks to kids at their level ... not parents talking about the dangers of running away.
Pros: Beautiful illustrations and a simple story engage kids in thinking about emotions and family in the way they look at the world.
Cons: None, really. If parents are looking for a book to "scare" a child about the dangers of running away, this is not your book.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a book with layers that kids will enjoy in different ways at different ages, probably up to second grade.
Educational Themes: This is a story designed for talking. There is the issue of respecting other people's things (Moush writes on his sister's favorite poster); listening to your parents; realistic problem solving; looking at something in a new way; and responsibilities. There are also a number of emotions to talk about: anger, frustration, loneliness, and love.
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