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A funny story for children or a cautionary tale for parents?
Not Now, Bernard - David McKee
Member Name: elkiedee
Not Now, Bernard - David McKee
Date: 13/07/09, updated on 13/07/09 (189 review reads)
Advantages: Short simple text, amusing pictures, a good story to read aloud
Disadvantages: Quite disturbing for parents
I find this picture book about a little boy trying to get attention from his parents very funny and rather sad and disturbing at the same time.
The story is very short with just one sentence below an illustration on each page - the longest sentence is 14 words and most are a lot shorter. This review is probably longer than the book.
Bernard goes to talk to each of his parents in turn but they are preoccupied with other activities and don't seem to have much time for him, and everything he says gets the same response, "Not now, Bernard". He tells his mum he is going to be eaten by a monster and she apparently doesn't listen or look, just says, "Not now, Bernard". Bernard goes up to say hello to the monster in the garden, and the monster duly eats him. Then the monster takes on Bernard's life, eating his dinner, watching the television, reading his comic, breaking his toy, and is finally sent to bed by Bernard's mum. The monster points out "But I'm a monster". The response is just "Not now, Bernard". The monster goes to bed clutching Bernard's teddy bear and mum turns out the light.
So has this neglected child been eaten by a monster or has he turned into one? Or is he simply turning to his imagination as he plays on his own? Why do his mum and dad not talk to him or go into the room to kiss him goodnight? Why do I find such a slight children's story so thought provoking?
I read it to my 2 year old son yesterday, he enjoyed it and asked me to read it to him again, which I did. It makes me want to give him a hug and make sure I pay him enough attention. I really hope I never catch myself saying "Not now, .... " to either of my little boys.
This is available at a cover price of £4.99. Amazon currently has it on sale for £4.49 or in a "Mini Treasure" edition for £1.50
Summary: A story with a message
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