by Carmen Agra Deedy
illustrated by Pete Oswald
Scholastic Press, 2020. 48 pages.
Review written March 5, 2020, from a library book
I want to read this book in a storytime! I recognized some elements from stories I’ve heard before, and sure enough, an Author’s Note at the back explains that the story is adapted from “the classic hand game, ‘Mr. Wiggle & Mr. Waggle,” and explains the hand motions you can use as you read the book. I think I would want to prop the book up and do just that.
But the story goes beyond that. It’s also a story of hurt feelings and reconciliation.
Here’s how the book begins:
In two little houses,
on two little hills,
lived two best friends.
Every morning, Rita and Ralph would
open their doors,
close their doors,
and run . . .
. . . down the hill,
and up the hill,
and down the hill,
and up the hill.
They’d meet under the apple tree and high-five,
do a cha-cha-cha,
play zombie tag,
and make daisy chains.
But one day, they try a new game, “Sticks and Stones,” and Rita gets hurt.
They don’t handle it well to start (running away) and feelings get hurt.
What follows is a tale of reconciliation. But that reconciliation involves a whole lot of going down the hill and up the hill and down the hill and up the hill.
And I think it’s going to be tremendous fun to read aloud. The story is enhanced by the long thin format showing all the hills between the two houses.
Find this review on Sonderbooks at: www.sonderbooks.com/Picture_Books/rita_and_ralphs_rotten_day.html
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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.
Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.
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