Kirkus Reviews QR Code
MYRTLE by Tracey Campbell Pearson


by Tracey Campbell Pearson & illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-374-35157-0
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A mean-spirited neighbor torments a young mouse and her baby brother until their aunt teaches them a timely lesson about coping with bullies. Myrtle is confident in her role as the cynosure of her family’s universe—until Frances moves in next door. Frances revels in saying hurtful things and laying spiteful traps in Myrtle’s yard. Soon enough, Myrtle is hiding in her closet in hopes of avoiding her nemesis. An urgent call to Myrtle’s exotic Aunt Tizzy out in the wilds of Africa proves to be the solution to the dilemma. Aunt Tizzy explains to Myrtle that just as you cannot let fearsome lions keep you out of Africa, nor can you let mean bullies keep you from enjoying life. Aunt Tilly’s non-confrontational, yet affirming solution is the ideal antidote to Frances’s machinations. Soon Myrtle and her baby brother are having so much fun that all of Frances gesticulations go unnoticed. The lively illustrations are a perfect foil for the text; Frances is depicted as appropriately sly without being terrifying, subtly illustrating Pearson’s point that a bully’s roar is often worse than its bite. (Picture book.3-6)