I Always, Always Get My Way by Thad Krasnesky, illustrated by David Parkins
Rating: 5 stars
This book is written for third kids everywhere. For those kids whose parents are wise enough to know that a little leniency isn't a bad thing (but tired enough to forget that too much leniency is a bad thing). For those kids who happily take just the teensiest advantage of their parents' doting and get away with a little too much. For three year olds who are young enough to make a few too many questionable choices and old enough to know how to get away with it.
For those kids like Kiefer, basically.
The little girl-narrator of this story makes some big mistakes: she accidentally dumps orange juice all of her father's work pants, she trips over the big roller coaster track her brother is building, and she swipes her big sister's things to make some unusual gluey model in her room. After all of these things, the little girl's mom rushes to her side and to her defense, and wags her finger at Dad, brother Tom, sister Suzie...NOT the little girl.
"After all...she's only three," rings the chorus.
And then the girl pushes it, like any three year old will. Through a hilarious string of very realistic kid decisions, such as waking up early on Saturday morning and helping herself to ice cream, her whole family realizes that things have got to change.
After a particularly mischievous string of mishaps, her whole family, including her mom, is standing around looking at her.
My dad stood still. His shoes did not.
They squished and left a drippy spot.
He calmly said, "I'd like to know
who turned the tub on hours ago
and flooded out the upstairs hall,
and soaked my bedroom, rug and all."
Dad noticed Suzie's dripping shoe-
Tom's dressed-up lizard--and he knew.Dad looked at Mom. Mom looked at Dad.
And that's when things got really bad.
Mom pointed to the stairs and said,
"That's it young lady! GO TO BED!"
I sweetly answered, "Don't blame me.
Did you forget? I'm only three!"
When I saw Mom being to fume,
I trudged, forlorn, up to my room.
I can't spoil the ending--the last two lines of this perfectly written, oh-so-clever poem are so, so perfect. I just can't tell you. You'll have to check it out for yourself! Krasnesky has created a marvel of a book, with small vignettes that kept my kids riveted and chuckling and then asking for more. This book is going to be purchased and given to any third kid-three year old party for the rest of my life!
Sidenote: How interesting and cool that Thad Krasnesky is a distance-running Army major, teaching at West Point! I have to point that out because when I was three (okay, that'd be too neat a story--actually I was in first through third grade), my own father was a distance-running Army major, teaching at West Point! AND it was around that time that my dad wrote a beginner chapter book (still not published, but still loved by his two girls). He served three tours in Iraq as well, so I can't say enough how much I love the twist on a stereotype...hooray and hooah for this author and hero. Can't wait to check out his other books.