Author: Susan Chodakiewitz
Title: Too Many Visitors for One Little House
Paperback: 40 pages
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
A new family with kids moves into a quiet neighborhood. The crabby neighbors get really concerned when the visitors start arriving for a big family reunion. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is a joyful story about the importance of being included.
The neighbors of El Camino Street did not like pets. They did not like kids. They did not like people with big families. They never had any guests and spent their day cleaning their houses, tending their gardens, and snoozing on their porches.
When the new family on the block moved in — a mom, a dad, three kids, and a fish—the neighbors kept an eye out for trouble. Yet life remained as
usual…until the day the visitors arrived.
About The Author
Susan Chodakiewitz is a writer, composer and producer. She is the founder of Booksicals Children’s Books- Encouraging the love of reading through the arts. Through her company Booksicals she has created the Booksicals on Stage literacy program which is currently presenting musical performances of the picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House at schools, libraries, and special events.
Susan lives in Los Angeles in a lively household filled with music, three sons, a husband, a Dalmatian and lots of visitors. Susan loves picture books and when she wrote a musical based on one of her favorites, she realized it was time to start writing her own picture books. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is Susan’s debut book. You can visit her website at http://www.booksicals.com/.Our Review
After I'd requested some books for review, I was a little nervous. What if we hated the book? Of course we'd be honest, but I don't LIKE giving negative feedback.
Didn't need to worry about this first book, though! Let's take a look at Esmé's (27 months) reaction after I gave her the packaged book to open.
"Dis MY book! I read it!" She started looking through the fun illustrations, fascinated. "Read dis to me, Mommy?"
I got through a few pages. "Monkeys! I get my monkeys!" And out came George and Blue for a monkey dance.
Back to the book. "Dolls! I get my dolls!" And out came the babushka dolls.
We didn't quite make it through the book that first time, but it has come out again many times since: "Read it again, Mommy!"
What she loves about it is how much she can relate to in the pictures. She's the sticky toddler with two monkeys, the recipient of Russian babushka dolls (only from her traveling aunt instead of uncle), the lover of clothes and high heels, the rockin' kid with ear phones, the skateboarder, and the baker...
The prose is interesting and with a little repetition to keep her engaged.
And she loved checking out the website, playing excerpts from the musical and naming the dog ("Snuffy," since it sniffs out the apple strudel).
As her mom, I love the fact that she enjoys the book. I enjoy the exaggerated stereotyping (granny with prune juice, gramps with toilet paper and plunger). Yet when it counts, the author throws out the stereotypes and depicts nanny, even though in a wheelchair, as an active, lively lady.
Embedded in the story is the lesson that family members of all ages can get along and have fun together.
And my favorite lesson: how to be a good neighbor by doing good to your "enemies" and winning them over to be part of your family...