Thursday, April 07, 2016
Teeny Tiny Toady by Jill Esbaum and Keika Yamaguchi
Teeny Tiny Toady by Jill Esbaum
Illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi
Sterling Children's Books - Ages 4 - 7
Teeny Tiny Toady begins with a disaster. "Help, Teeny!" her mother cries as a human hand snatches her up and plops her into a bucket. Teeny dashes home to get help from her 7 strapping big brothers, who come running to help but toss in a demeaning "We'll save her!" as they run out the door:
Brothers tumbled, bumble-jumble,
as they stumbled for the door.
"Don't you worry, kid. We'll save her!"
Off the seven toadies tore.
They try pushing the bucket over. No luck. Teeny wonders aloud, "Could we lift her out somehow?" but nobody listens. Instead, one of her brothers pats her on the head, pushes her out of the huddle and says, "We can handle this." But, their first attempt is fruitless. Then . . .
Teeny said, "You need a ladder."
"Guys, a LADDER'S what we need!"
"You're a GENIUS, brother!" one toad said.
"He ROCKS!" the rest agreed.
Of course, Teeny ends up saving the day after her brothers try to rescue mama and all of them fall into the bucket. Left on her own, she returns to her original thought process and succeeds. And, they do acknowledge her brilliant idea after they're rescued.
What I really love about Teeny Tiny Toady is that you know from the beginning that Teeny has ideas with merit but since her brothers alternately ignore her or pass on her ideas without giving her credit, she's experiencing what absolutely every female goes through, at one time or another. Teeny Tiny Toady shows that with persistence and refusal to allow yourself to be degraded by false expectations and demeaning comments from the opposite gender, a girl can end up solving tough problems. We all need to learn that lesson as early as possible.
Highly recommended: Cute illustrations and a fun, rhyming storyline illuminate a common kind of problem that runs deep for females in today's world and how persistence and faith in your own ideas will get you through. I love the surprising depth of this children's book. It's the kind of story every little girl needs to hear repeatedly, the younger the better. Wahoo for an early intro to feminism!
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