As one might guess from the title, boisterous Bella’s rules are in serious conflict with the family rules.
Bella’s rules: candy for breakfast, no washing your hair, ever, except with mud shampoo, and…there is no such thing as bedtime! Family rules include boring things such as no yelling indoors, no painting on paintings and no scaling the bookcase. Bella’s rules seem irrefutable, particularly to her kind but wimpy baby sitter Sammy, whom she terrifies with her wild behavior and who resorts to begging her to behave and go to bed. The indefatigable Bella gets her own way with everything, and her long-suffering parents are at their wits’ end. Until Granny pays a visit and brings with her a game-changer—an adorable puppy that breaks as many rules as his young charge and puts Bella in the unaccustomed role of having to introduce order into the chaos. Puppy’s behavior is even more wild, rude and risky than Bella’s. Ruining Bella’s favorite teddy is the last straw, and Bella sulks for a bit, until she starts to understand that by patiently teaching the puppy good behavior, obedience can actually be more rewarding than rebellion. The harmonious pairing of Guest’s simple but lively text with Halpin’s whimsical illustrations charms. Dialogue is represented in free-floating type that dances with nicely paced vignettes and page turns.
A winner. (Picture book. 4-8)