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DON'T CALL ME PRUNEFACE! by Janet Reed Ahearn

DON'T CALL ME PRUNEFACE!

By Janet Reed Ahearn (Author) , Drazen Kozjan (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4231-1918-0
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Right from the start, Paul has reservations about his eccentric new neighbor, Prudence. Following his grandma’s advice, Paul tries to befriend the freckled redhead but is rebuffed with innovative insults. Highly annoyed by this excessive name-calling by week’s end, “cootie cockroach four-eyes frogface peahead” Paul resorts to his own bullying behavior. Humorous details add richness to the punchy dialogue as the two eventually resolve their differences. In Kozjan’s illustrations, the children’s opposing pets often mimic their owners’ emotions, Prudence's feisty leash-wearing cat Scratch antagonizing Paul’s friendly canine. The protagonist’s dry first-person voice carries the droll narration, child-centered conversations providing counterpoint to his internal interrogations of his conscience. Half-understood adultisms (“Flies eat honey!”) provide extra humor even as they shine the light on Paul’s essential sweetness. Vibrant colors vary to express the children’s growing conflict, building to the engaging climax, and clean, bright backdrops maintain focus on the children’s tensions. Though the subject is frequently covered, bullying’s impact receives a fresh examination in this lively offering. (Picture book. 4-8)