Paula Knows What to Do by Shane Dufft. Pajama Press. 9781772780680, 2019
Rating 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a starred review) 5
Genre: Picture book
What did you like about the book? This is a simple story about a little girl who decides to cheer up her family after the loss of her mother. In the story it says that mommy is gone so you never really know if it involves death or divorce but there is a loss that is making the father sad so it can work either way.
In this story, a little girl named Paula wakes up to a very different Saturday morning. Usually she hears her dad puttering about the house making coffee and hot chocolate. Today he says he is sad and staying in bed. Paula reminds her father that her mother loved to go sailing so she plans to go sailing with her father to make him happy again — only the “sailing” is in her vivid imagination. She paints several beautiful pictures that capture a wonderful, sunny day sailing on the ocean. Their adventures take them flying in the sky and then a soft landing right back into her father’s bed. This does cheer up her father and he makes coffee and hot chocolate and they sit looking at her beautiful pictures. You really have a feeling that, although they are both sad, things will be better as long as they are there for each other.
Anything you didn’t like about it? Nothing
To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for children between the ages of two and five and definitely a great book to start a conversation about dealing with a loss.
Who should buy it? Public libraries, preschools, day care centers, anyone that works with children between the ages of two and five.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” pile? Yes
Reviewer: Kristin Guay, Centerville Library, Centerville, MA
Date of Review: March 4, 2019