cover image But I Waaannt It!

But I Waaannt It!

Laura C. Schlessinger. Cliff Street Books, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-028775-7

Schlessinger (Why Do You Love Me?) returns with an overwrought smarmfest of a picture book, this time zeroing in on consumerism and greed. While buying a birthday present for his cousin at a toy store, Sammy has an attack of the ""gimmes."" His mother's unlikely strategy is to give in to his demands and buy all the stuffed toys to ""teach him a lesson."" Then, in the middle of the night, when he can't sleep because ""there are just too many stuffed animals in my room,"" the two discuss why the new purchases were so disappointing. Sammy consequently decides to give all his new toys away to less fortunate children. An overearnest tone and dialogue manufactured to drive home Dr. Laura's message insults the intelligence of readers and their parents (""Let's find those children and give them each one of these toy animals so they can feel loved and protected,"" suggests Sammy, to which his mother replies, ""Yes, Sammy, let's do that tomorrow at the children's shelter""). McFeeley's cartoonish artwork provides little added value to this forgettable venture. Ages 3-7. (May)