Getting An Earful: Listen, Buddy by Helen Lester and Lynn Munsinger
BUDDY HAD BEAUTIFUL BIG EARS.
IT DIDN'T MATTER.
WHEN BUDDY'S PARENTS SENT HIM TO THE VEGETABLE STAND TO GET A BASKET OF SQUASH, HE CAME HOME WITH A BASKET OF WASH.
It's not the hardware; it's the software. His brain doesn't seem to be processing the transmission from Buddy's big ears. When sent for fifteen tomatoes, he returns with fifty potatoes. His dad gets a hen when he asks for a pen. His mom wants a slice of bread to make breakfast toast. What she gets is a freshly sawed slice of bed. His parents try everything--yelling, whispering, lecturing. But all their messages seem to get scrambled somewhere in their boy's brain.
Then they decide to let Buddy go out on his own for a while. They have only one instruction.
"THE PATH TO THE LEFT WILL LEAD YOU AROUND THE POND AND BACK HOME. BUT THE PATH TO THE RIGHT WILL LEAD YOU TO THE CAVE OF THE SCRUFFY VARMINT.
SO BE SURE TO TAKE THE PATH TO THE LEFT."
"RIGHT?" ASKED BUDDY.
"LEFT!" SAID HIS PARENTS.
"RIGHT!" SAID BUDDY.
Of course, everyone knows where this one is going except the befuddled Buddy. Left is right is too much for Buddy's brain to sort out, and he soon finds himself on the path to the dreaded Scruffy Varmint's slatternly cave. He comes upon the Varmint, who is thinking of making a big pot of soup and glad to see a little errand boy appear at his door. He dispatches Buddy to fetch firewood, get five pinches of salt and some flour, the ever popular fifteen tomatoes, and a load of squash, with predictable results from Buddy, But when he orders Buddy to put the soup on the fire and Buddy pours the whole mess, including a load of dirty laundry, on the fire, the Varmint decides to take over the soup-making himself.
"I WILL HAVE SOUP! BUNNYRABBIT SOUP, THE BUNNYRABBIT WHO NEVER LISTENS!"
By the creators of such hits as Hooway for Wodney Wat; Wodney Wat's Wobot, and Tacky the Penguin and its many sequels, Helen Lester's and Lynn Munsinger's cute little cautionary tale, Listen, Buddy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), all dressed up in a new hardback reissue, is a humorous homily on learning to listen for youngsters who tune out their parents' admonitions. Munsinger's illustrations of this little long-eared bunny and his doting but discouraged parents add just the right humor to this jolly little lesson in the Peter Rabbit tradition.