Saturday, July 14, 2012

Edward's Overwhelming Overnight

Edward's Overwhelming Overnight is another book in the Edward the Unready series by Rosemary Wells. I'm still unsure what the point of this line of stories is other than assure kids that it's okay and normal to be scared of things. Though that's a positive lesson, I'd much rather the hero of the story muster the courage to overcome--perhaps not immediately but in time. The stories simply end with the kid returning to where it's safe, and thus showing no growth.

In this story Edward goes over to a friend's house during the day to play in the snow. He's a bit apprehensive, but is enthused to play with his friend and happily makes a snow bear! As they play, snow begins to fall, harder and harder. Suddenly, Edward learns the snow is too deep for his parents' to come and pick him up and thus he'll have to spend the night. Edward becomes despondent and cannot be soothed even by new pajamas or a chat with his parents. Apparently equally worried about being separated from this baby bear, Edward's parents dig out the car and make the treacherous journey to pick him up. Home at last with his parents, everyone is happy.

It's hard to describe but the ending to the story strikes me as most peculiar. Perhaps it's meant to show that parents worry too and the best resolution is an intact family hunkering down in a blizzard and ignoring the world (the last page is the family in bed reading a story as they ignore the phone). Somehow that just doesn't resonate with me. That being said, the illustrations are nice and the story is suitable for an early reader grades 1-2.

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