Kirkus Reviews QR Code
LIZZY’S DO’S AND DON’TS by Jessica Harper


by Jessica Harper & illustrated by Lindsay Harper duPont

Pub Date: April 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-06-623860-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

With the same panache of their previous collaborations (Nora’s Room, 2001, etc.), the Harper sisters create a spunky tale about the woes and challenges of growing up. Harper tackles a subject familiar to every household engaged in child-rearing—the frequent occurrence of the word “don’t.” A child lists the deluge of restrictions she encounters in the course of daily life. From prohibitions about climbing bee-infested trees to sequestering reptiles in footwear, young Lizzy has had it with the that dreadful “don’t.” In retaliation, she provides her mother with her own list of “don’ts.” Lizzy’s proclamation is a blend of poignant and humorous dictums, including a plea to stay off the telephone a little more and a ban on a dreaded yellow dress. “Don’t always say my hair’s a mess. / Don’t say no when you could say yes. / Don’t, don’t, don’t!” Exhausted by their diatribe, the pair comes up with a list of things they wish each other would do. With keen insight and a comic touch, Harper spearheads the elemental truth of parenting; amid the squabbles and strife is the steadfast love a parent and child share. DuPont’s bold illustrations perfectly capture the energy of the tale. A blend of comic-strip layouts alternated with full-page spreads reflects the rhythms of the tale. With wry observations couched in perky rhymes and a lively tempo, Harper’s light-hearted tale delivers a sincere reminder to parents and children to treasure each other. (Picture book. 4-8)