"Crying Children" Reviewed
(Big, big thanks to Daniel M. Floresca, 11, for this incisive review of "Crying Children," published in the Manila Bulletin, Fun Page. Another grace in black and white.)
"Do you cry when you hurt yourself or when your big brothers pick on you because you are too small? Well, that happens to me sometimes because I’m the youngest in the family. When I was still small, I would always go to my mom so I can feel better.
"Now, I have little cousins named Belle, who is three years old, and Isys, who is nine months old. I like playing big brother to them when we are together. Sometimes, one of them would cry when my aunts ask me to stay with them for a while. I would always try to calm them down by making funny faces and sounds but those do not always work.
"When I read the story of Mateo in Grace Chong’s book, Crying Children, I could not help but smile because I know what he went through!
"This story is about a little boy named Mateo who was playing with his friend Gadong. They saw from the window that there was a fire in the village where Madam Lita lives. The two friends ran to the daycare center to warn Madam Lita, who was taking care of little children.
"Mateo and Gadong volunteered to look after the children while she went to her house. Teo thought is was the easiest job in the world until one of the little kids started crying. And then another one followed, and another, and another, until all 12 kids were crying.
"Teo and Gadong did a lot of things to entertain them. They did cartwheels and made funny faces with matching funny sounds. None of those worked.
"Soon, even the two big boys were ready to cry too. Teo said a short prayer and came up with a new idea. He sang the lullaby that his mother used to sing to him when he was small. Gadong played the harmonica. One by one, the little children became quiet and rested their arms and heads on the table.
"When Madam Lita came back, the three of them sang the song again and found 12 crying moms at the door. They asked Teo and Madam Lita to teach them the song so they can also sing it to their children at home.
"This is a very nice story because it showed that older kids can also help out in taking care of little children. I also like helping my aunts look after my cousins. The next time I do, maybe I’ll try singing to Belle and Isys too.
"Features that I like:
- The story has a happy ending
- There are Tagalog and English versions of the story in one book
- The illustrations were really nice
- I got to meet the author of the book!"