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*Rita and Whatsit* by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
 
Also illustrated by Olivier Tallec:

Big Wolf and Little Wolf: Such a Beautiful Orange!

Big Wolf and Little Wolf: The Little Leaf That Wouldn't Fall

Big Wolf and Little Wolf

Gus Is a Fish

Gus Is a Tree

This is a Poem That Heals Fish
Rita and Whatsit
by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod, illustrated by Olivier Tallec
Ages 4-8 32 pages Chronicle April 2009 Hardcover    

Itís Ritaís birthday - and if there is a rule that says every little girl should be happy on her birthday, Rita is enjoying breaking the rule. It isnít that this is turning out to be a bad birthday. Rita is simply not happy, and she wants her parents to appreciate her unhappiness. What Rita doesnít understand is that she is lonely and needs a friend; Ritaís parents have already figured that out.

In the midst of the pile of unopened presents sits a box that has begun to move. Rita has never known a birthday present to move before. As she watches, the birthday box lifts into the air and bounces across the floor away from her. In just moments, Rita has captured the box and is barking about presents that run away.

As she tugs at the ribbon, out pops a sweet, wet-nosed puppy. Still not sure that this isnít just one more stuffed animal, Rita huffs and puffs out warnings to the little dog. When Rita leaves the room to get her new present a snack, she returns to find the dog gone.

Readers will delight in exploring the pages to find the little dog. They will also laugh at Ritaís antics and be reminded of days when their mood was less than perfect. There are teachable moments here among the pen and ink drawings. Adults will want to talk about gratitude, responsibility and friendship. This is a great read-aloud for the indicated age and is a simple enough story to be used by teen babysitters.
 


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