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Never, Not Ever! ISBN: 9780500652725
Alemagna, Beatrice
Published by Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2021
Pascaline is a very determined young bat, and the main force of her determination is that she will 'never, not ever' go to school. Her parents' decision to try to insist that she goes, falls on deaf ears, particularly when Pascalina looks out the window and sees all the other small animals heading for school. No way is she going to go, so she holds on to furniture and the carpet, screaming, 'Never. Not ever! In fact she screams so loudly that her parents 'shrivel up' into tiny peanut-sized bats. This solves the problem nicely because now she can pick up her parents and carry them off to school where they will be with her all day. At school she finds all the little bats crying miserably because they can't stay at home, but the teacher is very positive and insists they will have a wonderful day. Pascaline is smug, because she has her parents with her. Problems begin when they are asked to sing 'The Wheels on the Bus' and her parents join in with their squeaky, tiny voices; then they become grumpy and hungry, and Dad falls into the pea soup. At nap time, Pascalina can't sleep because she has to hold her parents as she hangs upside down. Worst of all, at home time, there is no one to collect her because her parents have been 'clinging to her for five hours'. When mum and dad become normal size again on the way home, they announce that they quite enjoyed themselves and would be willing to go back tomorrow. Pascalina says the obvious, 'Never. Not ever!' The very funny, original, and clever illustrations add a great deal to this story that makes clear that parents have no place in school, and that life without them for part of each day is a plus. A most unusual approach to the problem of children who are trying hard to get out of starting school.
Age: 5+