This is her latest picture book, WHO LOVES THE LITTLE LAMB. It may very well be my favorite. It asks who loves--and then we see a "child" with a problem--such as being messy--"Who loves the messy pup?"
So we sat on the lawn swings and every time I read, "Who loves the..." She piped up, "Oooh, I love the messy pup/fussy lamb/noisy bird/bumbling boar/etc until we came to the hungry 'beest.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because, I don't like the way he looks."
Time for a "don't judge people by the way they look," lecture, I thought and was going to do that as soon as we finished the book. So we finished the book and she loved every other child/animal. When we got to the end pages--I can't for the life of me remember what they are called--maybe end pages--there was the 'beest and, looking almost exactly like the wildebeest was the little kid, only with not so messy of a hair-do.
"You like that one? It's cute? How about this one?"
"No, I don't like him," she said.
They look so much alike, I can hardly tell the difference, but she can. And then it hit me. The wildebeest had messy hair and Ruby's mother is fussy about hair, she's a hair stylist. So, maybe Rudy saw messy hair and thought he needed a good comb, after all, she gets combed and fussed with every morning until she looks like a little fashion plate.
Here are a couple of other problems with the animals. This is the pouting calf.
This is the noisy bird and the bumbling boar. Lezlie has covered just about every problem a child can have--fussy, pouting, hungry, dirty, even sleepy. Moma always loves them.
Yes, this book is my favorite--her first--RAIN SONG--was my favorite for years and years. And if you are local--Provo, Utah--you can meet Lezlie and she will sign her latest book for you. She will be at the BYU bookstore on Thursday, April 22nd from 12:30 to 2:30. And if you are an author wannabe, she can give you tips of the trade. She is very generous and loves to help other authors.
Lezlie is in town to see one of her girls graduate from BYU. Congratulations to one of Lezlie's "little ones."
And congratulations to Lezlie for another great book. And to the illustrator who made almost all the animals lovable (David McPhail). And congratulations to Ruby, who loves so many of the little animals with problems and for loving her grandma, who passed on the "messy gene."