Domino Devastation! Don't Slam The Door! by Dori Chaconas
PLEASE DON'T SLAM THE DOOR!
DON'T SLAM THAT OLD SCREEN DOOR!
SLAMMING DOORS WILL WAKE THE CAT.
AND, HEAVENS KNOWS, WE DON'T WANT THAT.
It's a quiet, domestic scene down on the farm. Mama is about to settle down in her favorite chair to knit up some socks for Pa, and only her pig-tailed, overall-clad daughter can foresee the devastation that about to ensue when her pesky pup blasts through the screen door. Everything teeters on the brink of chaos as that door begins to close!
What could happen? Well, that's a story in itself!
PLEASE DON'T WAKE THE CAT!
DON'T WAKE THAT NAUGHTY CAT.
HE'LL PLAY IN MAMA'S KNITTING CHAIR.
HE'LL ROLL THOSE YARN BALLS EVERYWHERE!
And spilled yarn isn't the half of it. Our girl sees what could happen next. And it does!
The cat tangles the yarn into knots and Mama dutifully knits the knots right into Pa's socks. And those bumpy socks make Pa so grumpy, that he kicks the beehive, and the enraged bees sting that grouchy old bear trying to nap in the shade, and the bear charges right into the barn and sends the cows fleeing for the safety of the farmhouse, and....
Well, you get the picture. Our heroine predicts it all, and with the bees and the bear and cows entangled in the yarn and upstairs wrecking Pa's feather bed, she realizes that she's the only one who can end this chain reaction of calamity.
I'M GOING TO COUNT TO FIVE!
I WANT YOU BEES BACK IN THE HIVE!
I WANT YOU, BEAR, TO GO AWAY!
I WANT YOU COWS BACK IN THE HAY!
Order finally restored, our little prognosticator smiles a satisfied smile as that cat settles down to complete her nap, and the heroine flops down into the easy chair:
DON'T EVER SLAM THAT DOOR!
WE'VE BEEN THROUGH THAT BEFORE!
I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!
And in Dori Chaconas' latest, Don't Slam the Door! (Candlewick Press, 2010), illustrator Will Hillenbrand cops the last laugh, when, order restored, just as the troublesome cat begins to doze off, the dog makes another dash through that screen door...
And we know what that means!
Chaconas' catchy couplets capably capture the humor in this witty tale, while Hillenbrand's lively and expressive characters act out our heroine's dire predictions of disaster with elan. An funny and satisfying read-aloud, this story has great possibilities for teaching predicting and cause and effect, concepts with ramifications in life far beyond their use as literary devices, and an extra bonus which makes Don't Slam the Door! more than just another story with a surprise ending.