Sunday, February 11, 2024

Winter Reading 2024 The Pocket Chaotic


Anyone who has ever tried to help a young child separate a bit from mom and move into their own room will appreciate the humor in The Pocket Chaotic. Alexander spends most of his time in his mother's pocket. "It was cosy and warm, and it smelled so reassuringly of Mum." But he isn't thrilled with all the junk she drops in her pocket - receipts, her phone, his sister's old gym shorts. Sister Elly points out that she moved out of Mum's pocket when she was much younger than Alexander is now. Instead of taking the hint, Alexander tries to offer Mum some advice. Maybe she could be more organized, or carry a briefcase? He tries to keep all the stuff under control, but she just drops in more. The day she throws in a half-eaten banana is the last straw. The illustration shows Alexander neck deep in a pile of junk with the banana balanced on his head. A HALF. EATEN. BANANA.

Readers will not be at all surprised to see on the next page that he leaves the pocket and moves into a bedroom in the house. Mum gives him a blanket to make the bed cosy and her old scarf that smelled "Mum-like and reassuring." When Alexander finally snuggles into the bed, he has emptied all the shelves in his room and the bedspread is just as covered with stuff as Mum's pocket was at the beginning of the story. Mum and Elly smile from the doorway as he drifts off to sleep. A final illustration shows Mum putting all the junk in the trash bin as she winks at the reader.

This would be a fun book to read along with Katy No-Pocket by Emmy Payne and H.A. Rey and then compare the situations of Freddy and Alexander and their mothers.

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