Sunday, June 8, 2008

Review: Uh-Oh, Cleo

Summary: Saturdays are usually nothing but fun in the Small household. Cleo and her twin brother, Jack, always play games, torture their older sister, and then bike to the best Candy store in town. But this Saturday is different. Jack decided to Spider-Man up the toy shelf and made the whole thing tip over. And one of the things that flew off hit Cleo in the head, making her bleed and everything. As her mom sings:

"Your story’s kinda gory, but it has a moral, which is: Beware a day that starts out normal. It might end in stitches!”

Cleo’s unique voice and lively narration will pull chapter book readers into her amusing stories of life in a big family that has many uh-oh moments. -- Penguin Group USA

I first heard about UH-OH, CLEO by Jessica Harper from Author Buzz. I tried to win a copy for my book-loving daughter to read and review. A few days later, Ms. Harper graciously offered to send her an autographed copy of the book. I can't even begin to tell you how excited she was. After a few weeks of asking everyday after school if the book came, I e-mailed Ms. Harper to let her know that we had never received it. If I'd known who Ms. Harper was, I probably wouldn't have had the courage to do this! Ms. Harper is an award-winning actress, writer and songwriter -- you will definitely recognize some of her movies and acting credits when you read her bio.

I loved this book, and so did my 8 1/2 year old daughter. While the book is probably geared more towards 1st and 2nd grade children -- young readers, she still enjoyed the book and didn't think she was too big for it. I thought it was wonderful how this story deals with a scary situation (needing stitches) while also providing many funny moments. My daughter and I both read the book to ourselves, but I can see how reading UH-OH, CLEO out loud would be even more entertaining. The songs that the mother and children sing are extremely cute and would definitely appeal to young children.

My daughter's favorite part was when Cleo talked to her dolls "through her mind" instead of out loud because that way they could say things and not get in trouble. She also thought it was funny when Cleo called the dolls on her fake cell phone on her way to the hospital to calm herself down. She mentioned that if she ever needed stitches, she would try to think about Cleo and not be so afraid.

UH-OH, CLEO is based on an experience from Ms. Harper's childhood, and it's the first book in an up-coming series. When my daughter found out that there are going to be more Cleo books, she mentioned that she thought it would be cool to have a Cleo cartoon made up of all the Cleo stories -- gotta love how she thinks! I really enjoyed UH-OH, CLEO and I'm anxiously awaiting the next CLEO book -- I'm pretty sure that my 3 1/2 year old son will soon love Cleo and her adventures too.

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