When he was young, a little boy didn't let anyone play with his toys. When he was older, he went from protecting toys to collecting and protecting everything he owned. He took great care of what he owned and also made sure that he created barriers to keep things out, and not just people! Ultimately, his world imploded and he was left with nothing but the sound of his voice echoing all his selfish remarks. As he realizes what he had done and apologizes, he wakes up. This had all been a dream.
I like books that are straightforward and don't talk down to kids, but this book was over the top. As I was reading, I could easily see the intended audience being frightened by the story - so frightened that the ending (that it was all a nightmare) not being enough to easily shake them from their fears. The story takes a fantasy turn when the house and yard "leave him," and that really feels out of place. I doubt that there will be readers interested in re-reading this once they know this is the boy's dream.
Although the story is billed as something an early elementary student can read, I do not recommend reading it with or giving it to that audience to read themselve. I don't consider this a "family read," and would only consider using it with preteens to talk about writing and conveying concepts.
Readers who like "flashback" stories or stories about dreams might like this book.
The story is very direct (and repetitive) in describing the main character's greed and selfishness. His behavior is quite rude toward others and this may be offputting for young listeners. Other reviews mention that the short sentences make it accessible for younger/developing readers, some of the vocabulary does not fit with that idea: amassed, possessions, meticulous, repellents, et al.
This illustrated story presents readers with a lesson about selfishness.
Greed and selfishness are the main themes of the story, and their effects are well illustrated. The book can open discussion with your children - particularly siblings - about their choices not just for sharing, but also in how they "protect" and care for the things they have.
9 and Up
9 and Up
Skip. Most readers will find it a little too shocking. Even after realizing the ending, they are not likely to go back and re-read.