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*The Almost Terrible Playdate* by Richard Torrey
The Almost Terrible Playdate
by Richard Torrey
Ages 3-5 40 pages Doubleday February 2016 Hardcover    

Friendship means cooperation and compromise, even at the youngest of ages. In Torrey’s latest picture book, a boy and a girl take turns making suggestions as to what they want to do on their playdate.

“How about I’m the queen of the universe and my doll, Pippy, is my sister queen, and you visit my castle?” As the girl describes her idea, the thoughts in the cloud bubble over her head appear in purple and resemble drawings a child would do. The boy’s thoughts are in green when he hears the girl’s idea. He answers back, “Or how about I’m the giantest dinosaur ever and you’re a dinosaur too--but not the giantest--and we stomp around smashing stuff?”

Neither agrees with the other. The girl doesn’t want to be a giant or a racecar driver or a wolf, and the boy has no desire to pretend he’s a frog, a pony, or in a circus. When they go off to play blocks on their own, they realize that they each like building things and can still have fun together by combining their ideas.

The girl will allow a bulldozer to build a road to her castle, and the boy offers free dragon rides to his mansion. The more they incorporate each other’s ideas, the more the purple and green illustrations mix. They showcase the children’s creativity and wide range of interests.

This book could be used to teach children how to play fairly with classmates, and siblings as well.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2016 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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