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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't Call Me Pruneface - Janet Reed Ahearn (Picture Book)

Released August 2010

Reviewed by Bob Walch

Paul is a very good little boy, but he is thoroughly tested when a new little girl moves in next door. Prudence has tons of attitude and even when Paul tries to be friendly and a good neighbor, Prudence tries his patience.

Prudence’s nastiness takes many forms. She refers to Paul as “Pill," “Four Eyes” and ”Cootie Cockroach Four-Eyes Frogface  Peahead”.  She calls Paul’s dog “Oops” instead of  “Bobo." And she taunts Paul by sticking her tongue out at him.

Finally Paul retaliates and starts calling his new neighbor “Pruneface." Although that’s perhaps not the best way of dealing with the situation, giving, Prudence a taste of her own medicine seems to work wonders. A truce is signed and by the story’s conclusion the two are on their way to becoming the best of friends.

This picture book for children three or older puts an interesting spin on standing up to someone who is bullying you. Mild mannered  Paul finally “pushes back” and his bullying neighbor folds. This never goes beyond name calling and the names are all rather silly, but I’m thinking that there might have been a better way of dealing with the situation.

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