Review: 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)
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 Daughters; Because 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 Globe, Redbook, Parenting, Cosmopolitan, Bust,Salon, Daily Candy, and Babble.