Sweet Solitude? Templeton Gets His Wish by Greg Pizzoli
TEMPLETON WANTS HIS FAMILY TO LEAVE HIM ALONE.
HIS MOM IS GRUMPY.
And, as the folk saying goes, When Mama's not happy, nobody's happy.
Mom stands over him until he cleans his room right, and she even follows him into the bathroom to make sure his scrubbing meets her specifications.
Dad is cranky, too, and Templeton's little brother keeps snitching his best toys.
If only he could just make them all vanish!
But wait! An advertisement in the newspaper for a diamond that grants wishes catches his eye. Templeton sneaks some money from his little brother's piggybank (After all, it's rent due on his snitched toys) and places his order.
When the magical diamond arrives, Templeton wastes no time in placing his order.
AND TEMPLETON GOT HIS WISH.
HIS FAMILY WAS GONE.
Let the solitary partying begin!
Templeton plays with all his toys at the same time. The floor of his bedroom is littered with toys, candy wrappers, and cereal bowls. He even adds a few cool murals to his walls! He stays up very late, the rest of the house dark, and smiles through his window as the midnight moon rides high in the sky.
The bathtub grows dusty, as Templeton gives it a wide berth. He notices a few flies circling, and maybe a bird nest on his head? But, hey! It doesn't bother him! Baths are for mama's boys!
BUT AFTER A WHILE THE HOUSE SEEMED REALLY QUIET.
AND SOMETIMES IT WAS A LITTLE SCARY.
Greg Pizzoli's piquant tale, Templeton Gets His Wish (Hyperion Press, 2015), is a clear case of the the old be-careful-what-you-wish-for premise, executed to point up the upside of family life, shown cleverly in the contrasting illustration when a wiser Templeton mournfully looks out the one lighted window, the others dark and abandoned, into a dark night of scary sounds. As might have been predicted, he soon decides it's time to undo that wish.
Greg Pizzoli's charming illustrations are done up in mid-century cozy kitsch, and with effective but minimal text, he lets Templeton's expressions and body language reveal his second thoughts about family life. "Cheerful entertainment, with just a touch of snark," as Publishers Weekly puts it.
Labels: Family Stories (Grades K-3)