(JUST BEING ME series)

Little, Brown & Co., Fall 2005

Illustrated by Nicole Hollander

One morning, when I was getting dressed to go out in a big snowstorm, I remembered when one of my children got dressed his way before he went out in the snow to a birthday party — with his arms in the legs of his pants, and his legs in the arms of his sweatshirt, and sunglasses too. He liked the way he looked — and I must admit — so did I! That’s where all the ideas for I’M ALL DRESSED! came from.

“”I LOVE MESSES!” and “I’M ALL DRESSED!” (Little, Brown, each $7.99) from the JUST BEING ME series are great for both children and parents to see how compromise really can make everyone happier. The books by Robie H. Harris, colorfully illustrated by “Sylvia” cartoonist Nicole Hollander, focus on the struggles parents have with their children not wanting to conform to expectations. In the end, kids get their way some of the time and parents learn that sometimes the right way isn’t the only right way: It’s OK to wear your sweatshirt on your legs and your mittens on your feet as long as you’re warm and happy, for example.”

-Detroit News and Free Press, January 22, 2006

“The small, brightly illustrated books in the JUST BEING ME series, by the author of the classic IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL (1994) and the GROWING UP STORIES series on child development, portray behavioral flashpoints from a child’s first-person perspective. A note addressed to parents explains how each fictional scenario reflects an important developmental stage and discusses how parents might balance “enjoyment of their child’s individuality… with the necessities of daily life.” The girl in I LOVE MESSES! exercises her creativity by making food into a “cold, wet, slippery, mushy, mess,” then helps her exasperated but understanding father clean up. In I’M ALL DRESSED! a boy of color strips off his winter wardrobe and reapplies it by himself, resulting in a topsy-turvy outfit that he proudly wears outside (with his flexible parents’ permission). Although some adults may fear the willful, experimental acts depicted will be understood by children as carte blanche to act out, many others will appreciate the clear voice of reason ringing through the stories’ humor and chaos — while children will simply exult in the silly fun modeled on the pages.”

-Jennifer Mattson, Booklist, November 15, 2005