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Don't Want to Go! ISBN: 9781862306707
Hughes, Shirley
Published by Red Fox, 2011
When Lily's mum develops flu and is very ill, dad must find someone to look after Lily while he goes to work. A phone call brings the news that Melanie will be happy to have Lily for the day, and dad announces that as Lily has been to Melanie's house once before, she will like it there. Lily is not at all sure! 'Don't want to go', she says. Trying to be cheerful, dad packs Lily into her pushchair and off they race. In a lovely, subtle gesture, Lily manages to lose her mittens on the way, thereby putting off the inevitable while they go back to find them. She is not pleased when they finally arrive, even though Melanie is very welcoming, as is baby Sam. About to yell as dad leaves, she is put off by seeing Ringo the family dog, who licks her hand. Very, very gradually, she begins to find things to like about Melanie's house, and while she doesn't want to do pasting pictures in a scrapbook, she does help Melanie choose which pictures to paste where, and comes up with some fun combinations. Calming Sam when he cries and feeding him his lunch go a long way to helping Lily adjust. Then they must go to school to collect Sam's big brother Jack. Jack is a hit, and soon he and Lily and Sam are playing boats and watching TV with Ringo sleeping on their knees. When dad arrives to collect Lily, she again doesn't want 'to go'. As always with Shirley Hughes, the illustrations tell much of the story. It is Lily's face that is such a picture, and dad's harassed expression when he realises Lily is going to be difficult that show us the feelings going on. Lily really doesn't want to have this new, strange experience, and she obviously doesn't remember seeing Melanie before, and dad feels bad about having to leave her. This is such a common experience in families, but one which is not often written about in picture books. It will prove a boon to families who must occasionally face this same problem, but it will also be enjoyed for the super story it is!
Age: 3+