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IT’S HARD TO BE FIVE by Jamie Lee Curtis


Learning How to Work My Control Panel

by Jamie Lee Curtis & illustrated by Laura Cornell

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-06-008095-7
Publisher: HarperCollins

Curtis echoes Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! in her latest collaboration with Cornell that laments and celebrates the agony and the ecstasy of being five years old. Rhythmic verses bounce along as the boy narrator lists his daily challenges, most involving the entropic nature of childhood that flies in the face of etiquette and hygiene: “It’s hard to be five. Just yelled at my brother. / My mind says do one thing, / my mouth says another.” As ever, Cornell’s hilarious, detail-rich illustrations effervesce with amusing asides that catapult the engaging but unspectacular verse to another level. A couple of clunky lines (“My body’s my car, / and I’m licensed to steer”) are, like the subtitle, perplexing and overly adult. Still, children will relate to this vivacious tale of a boy who likes to stay dirty, pretend to be a ninja, and bite his friends—but, on the brighter side, builds things, grows things, and says “thank you” and “please.” (Picture book. 3-6)