July 2002

Giving kids some space

By Margaret Wise Brown
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Have you ever met a child who doesn't get into everything? A child who isn't mischievous and curious? Of course you haven't. Kids have a way of getting into anything and everything. In Robin's Room, Margaret Wise Brown, author of such classics as Good Night Moon and The Runaway Bunny, captures the essence of a young boy whose curiosity gets the best of his parents.

This laugh-out-loud picture book focuses on Robin, who leaves things all over the house, puts a sneaker full of sand in his mother's bed, paints the walls and plants flowers in the bathtub. His parents get fed up with his rambunctious behavior and present him with his own room. But he needs three carpenters to do some remodeling. After one week of locking himself in his room with the workmen, Robin has the most wonderful space in the house. There is a special closet for his jars of paint, a tree over his bed and a ledge planted with flowers in front of a giant window.

Best-selling author Margaret Wise Brown is known by many as the first lady of picture books. Robin's Room, published for the first time, is a manuscript that was left behind after her death in 1952. Along with the marvelous story, the unique paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher make this book particularly inviting. Once Robin is inside his room, the pictures twist to the side, then upside down so that the reader actually has to turn the book in order to keep up with him. In the bottom corner of each illustration is a picture of Robin pointing his finger in the direction in which the reader should turn the page. Robin's Room is perfect for teaching children ages 4-8 that using their imaginations and abilities is fantastic and fun. It also teaches adults that children need creative outlets. Although it's difficult to give kids rooms of their own in reality, it's important that they have space in which to be creative so that they're not painting the walls and growing plants in the tub!

Karen Van Valkenburg writes from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Robin’s Room

Robin’s Room

By Margaret Wise Brown
ISBN 9780786806027

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