I’M NOT INVITED? by Diana Cain Bluthenthal


Age Range: 5 - 8
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A sensitive tale takes a wry look at the sometimes prickly and often painful path of children’s social relationships. Minnie is devastated when she hears her best friend Charles mention a party at his house on Saturday and then doesn’t receive an invitation. In true Murphy’s Law tradition, Minnie is surrounded by reminders of celebrations: her spelling words for the week are about parties, her pajamas have a confetti theme printed on them, and party stores accidentally call her home. As the week preceding the party drags on, Minnie becomes increasingly despondent. However, Minnie’s tale does have a happy ending. On the big day, Minnie discovers Charles at the local ball field and happily learns that the party was for his sister, not him. Bluthenthal (Meaner Than Meanest, 2001, etc.) neatly balances Minnie’s growing despair with a compassionate yet comical flare, using cartoon-style watercolor illustrations as a humorous foil for the text. Minnie conjures up a myriad of reasons why Charles’s invite did not reach her; thinking perhaps the invitation went to the wrong home or maybe even something more dire. Featured next to these statements are Minnie’s vivid imaginings: a nose-pierced Mohawk-styled adolescent looks bewilderedly at a party invite in one thought cloud and a whirling tornado carries off an entire mailbox in another. While it skirts the heavy issue of how to cope when a child is truly left out of an important gathering of peers, Bluthenthal’s understanding tale offers readers the solace of knowing that everyone at one time or another struggles with feeling left out. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84141-8
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003


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