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NOW WHAT CAN I DO? by Margaret Park Bridges


by Margaret Park Bridges & illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Age Range: 3 - 5

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-58717-046-9
Publisher: SeaStar/North-South

With a little ingenuity, a sagacious mother turns rainy-day doldrums into dynamic adventures in housework. When Little Raccoon wanders listlessly around the house plaguing his mother with pleas for something to do, she gently encourages him to make a game out of cleaning up. Humdrum chores such as putting away the laundry and setting the table become exciting when Little Raccoon masquerades as a basketball pro and pretends to be dining al fresco. From sunup to sundown, Little Raccoon is busily, happily engaged, and at bedtime, he eagerly anticipates the next day’s activities. Bridges (Am I Big or Little?, 2000, etc.) takes a common childhood complaint and attempts to show the possibilities of judicious applications of imagination. Clever, but it all comes across a bit flat: the dialogue between mother and child, for example, is somewhat stilted and lacking an easy flow. Yet the ideas are so nifty, and the illustrations so appealing, that the story still manages to be engaging. Sweet’s (Bouncing Time, 2000, etc.) full-bleed illustrations are filled with bright hues and busy details. Each spread reflects both the physical and imaginative world, with one page depicting mother and child going about their chores, while the facing page reveals Little Raccoon’s vivid imaginings. A good way to jump-start the creative juices when the ho-hum blahs loom near. (Picture book. 3-5)