Soupy Saturdays with the Pain & the Great One

Judy Blume, Author, James Stevenson, Illustrator , illus. by James Stevenson. Delacorte $12.99 (108p) ISBN 978-0-385-73305-2

This energetic, comical collaboration rounds up seven new stories about the spunky siblings from Blume’s The Pain and the Great One . First-grader Jake calls his older sister the Great One, “because she thinks she’s so great.” Abigail, in turn, has dubbed him the Pain “because that’s what he is.” In distinct, equally sassy voices, the two take turns narrating the tales, which capture slices of Saturday life. The Great One provides an imaginative solution when her brother refuses to get a haircut (because he’s afraid that the barber will cut his ears off), and describes her disastrous half-birthday sleepover party, at which the one friend who shows up refuses to spend the night. The Pain explains how he successfully wiggles out of playing goalie for his bungling soccer team, and tells of pet-sitting for his aunt’s dog and giving the malodorous mutt a shampoo and a tooth-brushing. And the Great One proudly recounts how she finally overcomes her fear of falling and learns to ride a bike. (“I can jump rope, turn an almost-perfect cartwheel, and make pancakes with hardly any help. The Pain is hopeless at those things. So how come he can ride a bike?”) Blume fills the duo’s narratives with playful bickering, banter and baiting, while slyly and satisfyingly revealing their mutual affection. Further animating the kids’ antics are Stevenson’s (No Laughing, No Smiling, No Giggling ) wispy illustrations, which feature many funny flourishes. Ages 5-9. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/18/2007
Release date: 08/01/2007
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-5624-1
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-0-7393-6106-1
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-440-42092-7
Open Ebook - 72 pages - 978-0-307-55989-0
Prebound-Other - 108 pages - 978-0-606-10572-9
Library Binding - 108 pages - 978-0-385-90324-0
Book - 978-0-385-76488-9
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