A young child presents a catalogue of timeless irritations and injustices in a 1976 outing with art and text lightly massaged and reformatted for newly independent readers.
From “When I do something nice and no one cares…” or “When you get mad at ME and I didn’t do it…” to “When I NEED you and you make me WAIT…” Nina’s complaints range from actual injustice to self-absorbed whining and so have near-universal applicability. Each general grievance is paired to a specific incident detailed in comic-book–style panels on the facing page, such as a painting that distracted parents don’t praise properly, a promise of ice cream that doesn’t pan out, a playmate who abruptly runs off with someone else or clothing that just won’t go on the right way. Fresh and buoyant despite the old-style television or occasional other period detail, Knight’s art places Nina—short haired, dressed in overalls and looking androgynous, in contrast to the girlier figure that Christine Davenier made of her in a 2002 edition (published as That Makes Me Mad)—between siblings in a comfortably domestic setting. He captures her feelings in a broad range of wonderfully expressive body language ranging from hunched-shoulder, irritated frowns to melodramatic sprawls. A posthumous publication for Kroll; Knight is still going strong and working on an autobiography.
A little parental TLC finally calms the storm, as it usually does. (Graphic early reader. 6-8)