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The Chocolate-Covered-Cookie Tantrum
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About the Author

Deborah Blumenthal is a health-and-fitness writer living in Houston, Texas. This is her third book for Clarion.

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Blumenthal evokes the all-out, single-minded hysteria of a child's tantrum in this minor first book. On a routine walk home from the park, Sophie becomes transfixed by a delectable-looking chocolate-covered cookie in the hand of another toddler. When her mother can't produce one, Sophie's demand escalates in urgency: " `I WANT ONE!' she yelled, shaking her head from side to side, banging her feet on the ground. `I WANT A COOKIE! I WANT A COOKIE!' " (The tantrum-verité prose occupies no less than seven spreads). Stevenson's (The Tangerine Tree) illustrations become more surreal as Sophie's tantrum snowballs: in one picture, pairs of violently kicking legs surround an angry red chili pepper face. When her frenzy suddenly abates, the pictures show tranquil scenes of wide lawns with leafy shadows. Even well-mannered children are likely to recognize Sophie's scene-making screaming, and the example of her nonjudgmental, unflappable mother (who surprises Sophie with a cookie after a nap and dinner) may hearten weary parents. Those weary parents will probably enjoy reading this story aloud, too‘Blumenthal's one-note joke will let them rant and rave to their heart's content. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)

"Toddlers who need some behavioral reflection (and parents who need a role model in fortitude) should put this toward the top of their reading list." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A slice-of-life picture book that acknowledges the intense emotions of a toddler. On the way home from the park, Sophie spots another child eating a chocolate-covered cookie. 'I want a cookie, ' she says pointing a stubby finger, 'I want that cookie.' Despite her mother's calm and logical response, Sophie becomes more and more upset, finally launching into a tantrum that involves kicking, screaming, tears, and a face as 'hot as a pepper.' . . . The straightfoward and simply worded text uses repetition to ecpress the child's fury, frustration, and helplessness. . . . Both words and pictures capture the sudden and surprising intensity of the tantrum, and the reassuring comfort of recovery. This title can be useful as bibliotherapy for children still too young for Aliki's Feelings." School Library Journal

PreS-K‘A slice-of-life picture book that acknowledges the intense emotions of a toddler. On the way home from the park, Sophie spots another child eating a chocolate-covered cookie. "I want a cookie," she says pointing a stubby finger, "I want that cookie." Despite her mother's calm and logical responses, Sophie becomes more and more upset, finally launching into a tantrum that involves kicking, screaming, tears, and a face as "hot as a pepper." When the moment passes, an exhausted Sophie takes a nap and calmly eats her supper. The straightforward and simply worded text uses repetition to express the child's fury, frustration, and helplessness. As the little girl's emotions build to a crescendo, the language becomes more and more staccato, quickly returning to normal after the storm passes. The average-quality illustrations, painted with brightly colored acrylics, echo Sophie's emotional state, as pleasant images of the park turn into scenes of alienation and anger. One scene places her at the top of an erupting volcano, while another shows a red-hot pepper, surrounded by pairs of kicking feet. Both words and pictures capture the sudden and surprising intensity of the tantrum, and the reassuring comfort of the recovery. This title can be useful as bibliotherapy for children still too young for Aliki's Feelings (Greenwillow, 1984).‘Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library

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