Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Hypnosis Harry

Do you remember, as a kid, your parents saying no to everything? Or, as a parent, do you get in arguments with your children about things they can and cannot do? (I vividly remember morning arguments when my oldest was a kindergartener and I insisted she couldn't wear dresses but needed to wear pants on gym days. Oh, the drama!)

Well, today's book examines what might happen if parents would just loosen up and start saying YES:

Hypnosis Harry by Catherine Bailey (author of Mind Your Monsters), illustrated by Sarita Rich (Sky Pony Press, 2016), tells the story of young Harry, who hypnotizes his parents into saying yes to his every whim. Cupcakes for dinner? Yes! Pet monkeys? Sure! No more broccoli -- ever? Absolutely!

However, getting his every desire isn't always satisfying, and things are kind of a mess. Harry soon realizes that when his parents would say no, it was truly for his own good. But wait -- what happened to grandfather's pocket watch?

Bailey's story is truly delightful. You can imagine all of the fun and messy ideas that a child might cook up, but then she examines the unintended consequences of some of those choices. She gently but clearly shows the loving boundaries that parents provide when they don't give their children everything they want. And the ending is just perfect -- satisfying and humorous all at once. :)

And Rich's illustrations do what illustrations ought -- they add another layer to the story. Her colorful and playful pictures show heaps of child-like wishes come true, and they build upon the author's words. I love that a child can listen to this story being read, while their eyes perceive new levels of meaning through the illustrations.

This author-illustrator pairing has produced a fun and meaningful book that children and adults will enjoy reading over and over again.

For further reading:



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