It’s Hard to Be Five by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell


It's hard to be five It’s Hard to Be FiveChildrenJamie Lee Curtis; Joanna Cotler Books 2004WorldCatLearning How to Work My Control Panel

It is hard to be five – ask my five-year-old granddaughter. She’s why I bought this book.

It’s hard to be five – you know what you’re supposed to do. Then something takes over and you do something else. For example, the five-year-old boy is looking at his little brother. “My mind says do one thing – Would you ever so kindly please give me my wig back? My mouth says another: IT’S MINE!”

He likes dirt. He keeps growing out of his clothes. He’s starting school – which is scary and strange. It’s hard to be good in school – like it’s hard sitting still.

There are good things when you’re five as well. He can walk alone. He can talk karate and pretend he’s a ninja. “It’s fun to be five! BIG changes are here! My body’s my car, and I’m licensed to steer.”

Jamie Lee Curtis’ dialog for the five-year-old boy in It’s Hard to Be Five is cut and catchy. The letters’ fonts, capitalizations, and emphasis make it easy for an adult (me) read it out loud to a child (my granddaughter). We curled up together so I could read it just to her. (OK, her three-year-old sister had to come up and look over my shoulder.) She was able to read some of the words, including sounding them out. Then (so it wouldn’t take an hour) I finished the book for her.

She liked Laura Cornell’s drawings, too. The backgrounds are washed water pastels. The boy and other focus points are bright and cheery, with a sketch quality that is filled in. The colors are bright and the drawings eye catching. Both my granddaughter and I pointed different things out. Two hours later she was ready to read it again.

It’s Hard to Be Five – it certainly is. But this book helps both children and adults deal with it. Being five can only be cured by turning six. In the meantime, Curtis and Cornell make it a little bit easier.

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