BOTTLES BREAK by Nancy María Grande Tabor


Age Range: 5 - 8
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An earnest and overwrought attempt at bibliotherapy, with strikingly fine illustrations. A child describes bottles, lots of bottles: “My mom leaves bottles all over the place.” Bottles come in many shapes and colors, the child says, like the people who drink from them, but inside, those bottles all hold alcohol. The child tells us “I want it to be me and my mom. But NO BOTTLES.” A teacher sees something the narrator has written, and encourages the child to do things that help, “like ride my bike, read a book” when a parent is drinking. The text never rises above this level of awkwardness. The illustrations, however—brightly colored tissue-paper silhouettes on a white background—are marvelous. The figures of both adult alcoholics, the teacher, and the child are faceless but clearly portray attitudes of sorrow, loneliness, or concern. The bottles, whole or broken, take on a somewhat sinister life, conveying the child’s feelings toward them. The book ends with addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites where children of alcoholics can get help. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-88106-317-7
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1999