Great Illustrated Books

Say What?

By Margaret Peterson Haddix, Illustrated by James Bernardin

Simon & Schuster Children, 2004
Pages : 96
Suggested Ages: 6-9
ISBN: 9780756954659

Meet six-year-old Sukie as she runs through the living room with big plastic tubs of glitter in each hand. "No running in the house. This isn't a playground." That's what her parents would say if they saw her. And, "You have to ask before you use glitter. And only at the kitchen table." Except Sukie's in a hurry, so she doesn't have time to ask permission. Oh, no! There's Dad. Busted! She waits for him to yell. Instead, he says, "So if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" Huh? She tries to hold her hands steady, but the tubs of glitter spill all over the carpet. He looks her straight in the eye and says, "Don't pick your nose," and walks out of the room. What is wrong with Dad? Sukie calls an all-kid meeting with her older brothers, Brian and Reed who agree that both Mom and Dad are acting weird. Actually, Mom and Dad have been reading those psychology books again and are trying out a little behavior mod with their kids to make them listen. And their reverse psychology is about to backfire bigtime into war with their kids who decide to act bad on purpose, just to see what Mom and Dad will say.

This is a very clever and funny little book—you can read it in 2 sittings—for talking about behavior, discipline, and parent-child relations. Collect examples of "parentspeak" and "kidspeak" in your family and talk over sensible, non-boring rules for behavior in your own house.

Reviewed by : JF.


If you love this book, then try:

Allard, Harry. Miss Nelson Is Missing. Houghton Mifflin, 1985. ISBN-13: 978-0395664988

Evans, Douglas. Apple Island or, The Truth About Teachers. Front Street, 1998. ISBN-13: 978-0439431347

Geras, Ad��le. The Cats of Cuckoo Square: Two Stories. Delacorte, 2001. ISBN-10: 038572926X

King-Smith, Dick. Lady Lollipop. Candlewick, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0763621810

MacDonald, Amy. No More Nasty. Farrar, 2001. ISBN-13: 978-0374355296

MacDonald, Amy. No More Nice. Orchard, 1996. ISBN-13: 978-0374455118

MacDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. HarperCollins, 1957. (And others in the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series.) ISBN-13: 978-0397317127

Shannon, David. David Gets in Trouble. Scholastic, 2002. ISBN-13: 978-0439050227

Shannon, David. David Goes to School. Scholastic, 1999. ISBN-13: 978-0590480871

Critics have said

This breezy sitcom of a story is an easy read with lightly developed characters, funny situations, and brisk pacing. The large font and energetic black-and-white illustrations will be inviting to readers transitioning to chapter books.
Susan Patron, School Library Journal
Lighthearted and humorous, this easy chapter book is made all the more appealing by Bernardin's comical black-and-white illustrations.
Lauren Peterson, Booklist
A funny read for children and parents alike; nice for young readers because of the large font and black and white illustrations.
Cindy L. Carolan, Children
Humorous situations, familiar parent-speak applied at the funniest times, and a hilarious war of words add up to a pleasant family story for readers who are just ready for chapter books.
Kirkus Reviews