Flashlight Press - Children's (Ages 5 and up)
Emmy is three years old and she's a typical, active girl. She spills orange juice on her father's work pants and upsets him, as the book opens, but Mom says:
"Now, sweetheart, you should let it be.
After all . . . she's only three."
Those are Emmy's favorite words. She gets off the hook for all sorts of trouble-making until she asks her dad if she can "hide a treasure like a pirate queen". Dad agrees but tells her, "Just stay clean."
Little Emmy draws a treasure map, dresses like a pirate and digs a hole, into which she throws her sister's rings, her brother's boot . . . and then she goes in the house to grab the silverware, leaving muddy tracks on the floor and chair. This is where the story turns.
Emmy's dad makes her put back all her "pirate loot", vacuum the rug and refill the hole she dug in the yard. She thinks she shouldn't have to clean.
"I know Mom would agree with me.
After all . . . I'm only three."
But, then Emmy creates another disaster when she gets up early, raids the refrigerator and gets food all over the place. This time Mom makes her clean up.
The last straw comes when Emmy decides to play with her brother's lizard. She dresses "Steve", fills the bathtub and plunks all of her sister's shoes in the water, looking for one that will float so Steve can have a boat. Then, the lizard runs off and Emmy leaves the water going, flooding the bathroom, hall and bedroom. Big brother is angry that Emmy has taken his lizard. Mom is angry because the lizard frightened her. Dad's peeved about the flooding and big sis is upset because all of her shoes are ruined.
Emmy gets sent to bed and I Always, Always Get My Way ends on this note:
"I sadly closed my bedroom door.
I may be here until I'm four."
I loved That Cat Can't Stay by Krasnesky and Parkins and figured I'd enjoy pretty much anything they did together. When I started reading, though, I thought I wasn't going to like this story. Emmy's such a typical three-year-old and mine were so difficult at that age! It did seem like she was going to get away with an awful lot because she was "only three." Then, of course, she began to have to pay the consequences and I sighed with relief. When reading to young children, I do believe it's good to have a strong theme and "action leads to consequences" is a good one.
Definitely recommended. Wonderful, goofy-expressive illustrations,comfortable read-aloud rhyming and a solid theme make I Always, Always Get My Way a winner. The only thing I thought might be a little off was the fact that Emmy is so precocious. But, then . . . mine were at that age and I recall having a tiny broom and dustpan for them to use when they made messes (long gone, now). The story is a good reminder that responsibility for one's actions should be taught early.
One of the wonderful things about Flashlight Press Books is that you can actually read the books in their entirety at their website by clicking on the words "Look Inside!" just above the cover image. Here's the pdf site for I Always, Always Get My Way. What a great way for parents, grandparents, aunts, etc. to find out whether or not the book is the right choice!
This is Book #1 for Children's Day. More reviews forthcoming!