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Saturday, August 30, 2008

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YNL

"Nikki, her mother, and her new teacher, Mrs. Patterson, are overweight because they eat only bad foods, eat so fast that they can "barely taste them", lie about food, sneak food, "can't stop" eating, and use food to reward or comfort themselves. I think that very few people will see themselves in this comprehensive roster of destructive habits."Other Paula disagrees with me strongly here, and, thinking about it, I disagree with me too. The habits described certainly jibe with my knowledge of addicted behavior, and, as such, usually DO occur en suite.I would revise my review to reflect this, but because of crappy script compatibilities between Firefox and Blogger, I can't edit posts from this computer.

Laura Lutz

I'm glad you modified your review - I agree, people displaying addictive tendencies will certainly see themselves in that depiction.Your review was great, and I agree with what you had to say. I also found this book disappointing, particularly because it was addressing an important need...but it just fell short. I probably wouldn't recommend this book to parents asking for books on this topic - it really oversimplified the multitude of psychological, emotional, and physical issues at hand.But this book also left me wondering how does one write a book with this subject matter? Would you leave out the teasing part entirely? Not have Nikki lose much weight (if any) in the span of the picture book? How would you get across the message that being severely overweight can have dire consequences, even for children...without scaring the crap out of them? I don't think Campbell did it exactly right...but I'm also not sure the best way to go about it.Ultimately, I do have respect for Campbell's attempt.

YNL

What I would do, if I were qualified to write this book:1. Consequences for the teasing. Teasing is treated just like hitting in some school systems. I want that kid to get in TROUBLE.2. Not wallowing in Nikki's unhappiness. Just hit it a little more gently. There should be enough detail so that the reader can identify behaviors that he/she shares with Nikki, but not enough so that the kid gets caught up in feeling sorry for Nikki, and for him/herself.3. Leave out Ms. Patterson's illness. I do like that the teacher, the 2nd most important person in Nikki's life, is the example - why not have her undertake a diet and exercise regimen as a New Year's resolution? 4. Address the fact that weight loss can start out slow: 'At first it didn't seem to make any difference, and I almost quit.'5. Give Nikki credit for maintaining: 'When it's raining, it's hard to get up and walk. The custodian lets us into the gym on those days.'6. Not setting up weight loss as the end to all Nikki's sorrows. That can be dangerous - 'I lost the weight but I still feel crappy: something must be wrong with me!' All she needs to say is 'Sometimes I still feel sad and lonely.'There are so many things that this book gets RIGHT... it's frustrating that I don't feel good about recommending it.

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