Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The Opposite

The Opposite

Fall 2006 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Tom MacRae
Illustrator: Elena Odriozola
ISBN: 1-56145-371-4
Hardcover Price: $15.95
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, things just turn out the opposite of what you intended: milk gets spilled, paint projects get messy, and teachers get angry. This is the kind of day that Nate is having. But all is not what it seems. Nate's sudden clumsiness really isn't his doing, but the work of an ornery, wild-eyed figure called The Opposite. Not only is its presence exasperating to Nate, but the fact that no one believes him makes him even more frustrated. Nate's “aha!” moment comes when he discovers what parents will recognize as reverse psychology. Suddenly, Nate's work becomes tidy again, and in embracing The Opposite he discovers exactly how to defeat it once and for all. Children will relate to Nate and those moments when everything seems to go wrong, but furthermore they will see how Nate becomes resourceful and uses his own problem-solving skills to tackle the situation. Elena Odriozola's ink and watercolor illustrations are colorful and quirky; look for the Cheshire Cat-like reappearances of The Opposite in the book's endpapers. Good fun for young readers.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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