Review: The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

| September 30, 2011 | 3 Comments

By Nicki Richesin, The Children’s Book Review
Published: September 9, 2011

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

by Linda Ravin Lodding (Author), Suzanne Beaky (Illustrator)

Reading level: Ages 5 and up

Hardcover: 32 pages

Publisher: Flashlight Press (October 1, 2011)

Source: Publisher

Trying to “make every moment count” as her father advises, Ernestine Buckmeister is shepherded to and from her daily tuba, yoga, karate, knitting, sculpting, water ballet and yodeling lessons by her Nanny O’Dear. Linda Ravin Lodding’s amusing send-up to overscheduled children who don’t have time to frolic and just enjoy being kids imparts a very wise lesson disguised as a comic adventure tale.  Poor Ernestine’s hectic schedule doesn’t allow for much downtime to play with her friend Hugo, so she tricks Nanny into skipping her tuba lesson to play for one “heavenly” afternoon. They spend it doing all the things they have missed out on like staring at the clouds, playing pretend, building twig forts and making daisy crowns. As a result, Ernestine’s family decides together to redefine “living life to the fullest.” The Buckmeisters bike to work and help Ernestine build a tree house while Nanny O’Dear discovers the joy of flying kites. Suzanne Beaky’s lightheartedly silly illustrations, of Ernestine’s teachers like Pearl Stitchem, Grand Master Hi Ya and Mr. Oompah, make this book even more playful and fun. For a sneak peek at The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, check out this entertaining book trailer.

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Nicki Richesin is the editor of four anthologies,What I Would Tell Her: 28 Devoted Dads on Bringing Up, Holding On To, and Letting Go of Their DaughtersBecause I Love Her: 34 Women Writers Reflect on the Mother-Daughter Bond; Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love; and The May Queen: Women on Life, Work, and Pulling it all Together in your Thirties. Her anthologies have been excerpted and praised in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle,The Boston GlobeRedbookParenting, CosmopolitanBust,SalonDaily Candy, and Babble.

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Category: Ages 4-8, Books for Girls, Picture Books, Social Graces

About the Contributor ()

Nicki Richesin is a freelance writer and editor based in San Francisco. She writes personal essays and pieces on lifestyle, parenting, and pop culture for Sunset, DuJour, 7×7, Daily Candy, and The Huffington Post. She is also the author and editor of The May Queen, Because I Love Her, What I Would Tell Her, and Crush. You can find her online at

Comments (3)

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  1. Linda Ravin Lodding says:

    Thank you, Bianca, for such a lovely review and for sharing “The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister” with your readers! Happy playing, everyone!

  2. oh, this looks like a wonderful book. so cute. I watched the video’

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