The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister by Linda Ravin Lodding, Illustrated by Suzanne Beaky
October 1st, 2011
Ages 5 and up
Fiction Children’s Picture Book
Linda Ravin Lodding is the author of the Hold That Thought, Milton! (illustrated by Ross Collins) and Oskar's Perfect Present (illustrated by Alison Jay) both from Gullane Children's Books, London. Ms. Lodding is originally from New York, but has spent the past 15 years in Sweden, Austria, and now The Netherlands. Today she lives in a one-windmill with her wonderful husband and daughter (who is, at times, as busy as Ernestine) and their sometimes-dog Nino (who speaks Dutch, Swedish, Spanish, and a smattering of English).
Reviewer: Renee Hand
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is an artistically colorful and extremely timely story depicting the life of an ordinary child with an extraordinarily busy life.
Ernestine has a very busy schedule. Not only does she go to school, but every day after school, and on the weekends, her days are booked. She goes to sculpting, water ballet, knitting, tuba practice, yodeling, karate, and yoga. How can she keep her schedule straight? With the help of Nanny O’Dear. But at times, even she struggles with what they are doing on which day.
When the Buckmeisters come home and see their daughter pale and worn out, they think putting her in more classes will help, but what they fail to see is that they have Ernestine so busy she can’t enjoy just being a child and playing like her friends in the neighborhood do.
Until one day when Ernestine has had enough. She wants to play and after school she and Nanny O’ Dear play in the park for the day. But when her yodeling teacher calls and tells her parents she has missed her class, what will the Buckmeisters do? Will Ernestine get into trouble for just wanting to have fun and be a kid?
In this story the author captures the chaotic life of most children and their parents. Parents have such high expectations for their children that at times children get tired and exhausted from what they have to do. In truth, they have a hard time keeping up. Sometimes children just need a break—even just to wash their own stress away.
The illustrator has created beautiful and detailed artwork that really helps emphasize Ernestine and her crazy life. The images are creative and funny.
Children from the ages of five and up will be able to empathize with Ernestine’s life in this 32-page hardcover picture book. The reader will delight in the moral of the story: Sometimes a kid just needs to have time to play, have fun, and exercise only the imagination.