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Book Review: "The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister"

I just had the delight of reading The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister by Linda Ravin Lodding, and illustrated by Suzanne Beaky.  It’s a beautiful picture book with bright, bold illustrations and clever text.  It addresses the issue of over commitment in a head-on fashion, but it’s comical tone makes for a great character-building book.  I giggled aloud when I read the character’s names to my 5-year old daughter – Clay Lumpkin teaches a sculpting class, Pearl Stitchem teaches knitting, and my favorite was thte karate instructor Grand Master Hi Ya.
Like so many parents I know, Ernestine Buckmeister’s parents have her best interests in mind when they fill her calendar full of fun, engaging and active after school fun – helping her live life to the fullest.  But Ernestine’s one silent wish is to just stay home to play.  She longs to jump on the trampoline, giddy-up like a cowboy and bounce a ball.  The only problem is that her schedule allows no time for such frolicking.
One day Ernestine bucks the calendar, to pursue her own day of fun.  She and her nanny have the best day ever, wandering through the park imagining shapes in the clouds, building forts and making daisy crowns.  When her parents finally catch up with her, Ernestine respectfully and bravely admits her desire to slow down and have time to be a kid without following the calendar.   She helps the whole family discover how to make every moment count by discovering life without regimenting every minute of life.
This book is packed full of character lessons around goal-setting, communication, integrity, social skills, time management, planning, decision-making, and family relationships.  It’s a great tool for teachers, counselors, librarians and parents.

Your child might also enjoy some of the activities that Lodding has developed to accompany the story:
Ernestine coloring page
Help Ernestine Get to the Park Maze
Ernestine Word Search
Preview the entire book here.
Learn more about the book, illustrator and author here.
Buy the book here.
Enjoy reading, and I hope you are able to take time to ponder how YOU can live life to the fullest.


Linda Lodding said…
Thanks so much, Ann, for taking the time to share "The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister" and for giving her the "thumbs up!". What a lovely, thoughtful review!

And let's hope that together we can put play back on every child's AND parent's agenda!

Happy playing!

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