Friday, March 29, 2013

Flabbersmashed About You - Perfect Picture Book Friday



In earlier posts this year I reviewed the most recent Charlotte Zolotow award winning book, JacquelineWoodson’s Each Kindness, and one of the honor books, Mara Rockliff’s Me and Momma and Big John. Today’s the day for the second Charlotte Zolotow honor book to have a moment in my spotlight.

Title: Flabbersmashed About You

Author: Rachel Vail

Illustrator: Yumi  Heo (Yumi has bios on several publishers sites but I couldn't find HER website. The link is to Scholastic's bio and visit kit page) For those of you on Facebook, you can go here.

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends, 2012

Audience: The publisher lists 4-8 but I would say 3-6 girls

Themes: Friendship, Fitting In, Helping Others

Opening: “My name is Katie Honors, and I’m a really friendly kid. I like to play with everybody, and they all like to play with me, too. I go on lots of playdates.”

Synopsis: When Katie's best friend decides to play with someone else during recess, Katie is "flabbersmashed." (a word made up by author Rachel Vail that captures the emotion perfectly--and is just plain fun to say, try it!). No one is ugly to each other. Her best friend isn't intentionally mean to Katie. It effectively captures a moment when one person feels left out, even when no one is to blame, and how someone else can turn the moment around.

Resources: MacMillan has a slide show with spread from the book here.
I was surprised that so many reviewers on Goodreads didn't like it as much as I did. Some clearly didn't read the book because it isn't about friends who have a falling apart and then make up. Whether or not they make up is left to the reader's imagination, and I think that's a great talking point. What does it mean to be best friends? Do you have to do everything together? Can three people be best friends? Four? 
I also learned that in 1935 the U.S. Congress proclaimed the first Sunday in August National Friendship Day. Cool holiday! These two sites one and two have a lot of friendship activities 

Have you read Flabbersmashed About You yet? Are there other books about feeling left out by a friend that you would recommend?

This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books.


17 comments:

  1. Wendy, this book looks like so much fun, and perfect for a counselor who gets to talk with kids about their feelings all day long! I recognize the drawings so I must have something on my shelf already by this dynamic duo, but we have today off so I check it out until Monday.

    Happy Easter!

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    1. The duo is a great one. The pink color on the cover may turn off some boys, but the feelings are universal.

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  2. Love the word flabbersmashed. Sounds like a good book to read with kids. Every kid feels left out at time -- and leaves others out. Part of childhood. So many good discussion points.

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    1. Even part of adulthood! Those feelings just don't go away.

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  3. Why haven't I heard of this one yet. Thanks, Wendy!

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    1. Spare text and crazy fonts make it a fun read even though it's a "serious" subject.

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  4. What a terrific word! I'll be looking for this one.

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    1. It's onomatopoeia with silliness.

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  5. That is a great word and a very common subject to highlight. I hope I remember this one if I ever need it for the kids.

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    1. I like the fact that the end isn't "tidy."

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  6. Great choice, Wendy. I love friendship books. Being friends can be a mine field for little kids. It's trickier than it sounds, sometimes.....

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    1. Especially this sort of grey area, where no one is nasty but feelings get hurt anyway.

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  7. Oooh, some days, I still get that "flabbersmashed" feeling. But, as an adult, there is nothing that a Vodka Creamsicle won't solve (LOL!...hope kids aren't reading this). ;) This book definitely has universal appeal with that topic. Who doesn't feel left out every once in a while?

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    1. I don't think anyone ages out of this emotion.

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  8. Flabbersmashed just about sums up that feeling. I remember it well. Thanks for sharing this wonderful book.

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  9. I smiled when I first saw this title as it reminded me of when visiting my friend in Chile some weeks ago, and I offered to help in the kitchen, she asked if I would "smash" the potatoes. I was wondering what she meant until I realised she meant, "mash" them. I had never heard that expression before.
    "Flabbersmashed" sounds like a perfect word for such a universal emotion. Excellent choice for PBBF, Wendy.

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  10. Flabbersmashed is just the word to hook me! I'll have to find this book! Thanks for the review!

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