Little dudes can have very big mouths. There are occasions when they’ll open their mouths and say something so funny you’ll laugh until you hurt. Then there are the occasions when they say something so mean it will take your breath away. Finally, there are the occasions when they’ll open their mouths and pennies will spill out onto the floor, but that just means you need to do a better job hiding your change.
Little dudes being little dudes and not being, as yet, fully developed moral entities can, on occasion, say things that will hurt their loved ones. Sometimes, like Leo, they might even say, “I hate you” to their mom.
The Day Leo Said I Hate You! is a lovely little book for the preschool-k-grade 2 set. It’s written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Molly Bang.
Leo is a little dude at home with his mom and he’s not having fun. His mom keeps telling him no when he wants to do harmlessly fun things like put string beans into the fish bowl or rolling tomatoes across the floor and squishing them into the wall. Eventually, Leo gets so tired of hearing no that he goes to his room and draws a mean picture of his mom on the bedroom wall.
Of course, Mom doesn’t like that one bit and she tells Leo there’s no drawing on the walls. At which point Leo flips out and tells his mom, “. . . I hate you!”
Immediately, Leo realizes how mean he’s been to his mom and wants to take back what he said, but learns you can’t really do that. And then we all learn a valuable lesson.
Actually, this is a pretty good book for the younger set. Leo and his mom talk about how sometimes it’s okay to say hate, like when you’re talking about how you hate broccoli, but it’s not a good thing to say you hate a person.
The art by Molly Bang is pretty terrific as well. She’s got an interesting visual style in that a lot of the background characters are actual pictures photoshopped into her art. This really lets her cartoony (in a good way) figure drawings stand out all the more, especially with the facial exaggerations Leo makes. It’s really good stuff.
I give this book four dudes out of five and heartily recommend it as a read-together book for little dudes and parents. You can buy it at all the usual places: Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the like.
Go ahead and give it a read.
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