Review: And Two Boys Booed
And Two Boys Booed by Judith Viorst and Sophie Blackall (ill.) 9780374303020. September 2014. Gr. K-2
Since we are about to give our big Booktalk Live! presentation at the ITEM (formerly MEMO) conference tomorrow, it seems appropriate to share Judith Viorst’s new picture book on the blog today. I think we’re pretty well practiced over all, and I don’t feel nervous quite yet. But as the little boy in And Two Boys Booed finds out, sometimes it’s the waiting for your turn that will make you the most nervous.
On the morning of the talent show, he’s ready. He has practiced a lot, and he’s wearing his lucky blue boots. He can do this. But there are five kids in front of him, and as he waits, his nerves start to take hold. When it’s finally his turn to sing his song, he’s all mixed up. We see what he imagines in the illustrations, and you can lift the flaps to see the boy nervously standing in front of everyone. It must seem like an eternity passes in the silence, but eventually he sings. The lift-the-flap versions of reality are a very cool way of showing how stage fright feels. I think kids will relate to it. I know I certainly did.
As the title tells us, two boys boo at the end of our main character’s performance. Everyone else claps. You might wish to see the boys who booed get their comeuppance in the book, but the focus here is on how stage fright feels and the idea that a mostly positive result is a good thing.
I sincerely hope that none of the media specialists in the audience of our sessions at the conference boo, but on the chance that that happens, I hope that we can take this book to heart. 😉