THE PAIN AND THE GREAT by Irene  Trivas

THE PAIN AND THE GREAT

KIRKUS REVIEW

How two jealous siblings feel about one another--starting with a third-grader's gripes about her first-grade brother, the Pain. Because Blume is a close student of family behavior, there's a lot here that rings true: "At dinner he picks at his food. He's not supposed to get dessert if he doesn't eat his meat. But he always gets it anyway." (Also: he's a slow-poke, but if she leaves without him, "he cries" and "Mom gets mad at me.") When she protests that she should stay up later because she's older, her parents agree--but "without the Pain, there's nothing to do!' Worst of all, "the cat sleeps on the Pain's bed," when it's she who feeds her. The last, bottom line: "I think they love him better than me." Then we hear his side: "She thinks she's great just because she can play the piano. . . . But I like my songs better even if nobody ever heard them before." "My sister thinks she's so great just because she can work the can opener" (which is why she gets to feed the cat). But the bottom line is the same: "I think they love her better than me." The situation as depicted is particular to these years; the text is set, pretty much a phrase to a line, for easy reading. And if anyone can remove the picture-book onus, it's Blume--so this back-to-back confrontation, illustrated in the same waggish spirit, should garner appreciative recognition.
Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1984
ISBN: 0440409675
Page count: 33pp
Publisher: Bradbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1984




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