Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Russell Wrestles the Relatives by Cindy Chambers Johnson - ADVISABLE

Russell Wrestles the Relatives by Cindy Chambers Johnson, illustrated by Daniel Duncan. PICTURE BOOK. Aladdin (Simon & Schuster), 2018. $18. 9781481491594


Russell feels small and weak compared to his physically strong relatives who tend to tickle, squeeze, and tease him.  During a family reunion he figures out his own unique moves and is able to free himself from his relatives’ wresting holds. In the end, it is his “smooch” that frees him the best. 

I loved the constant allusions to wrestling in the language the author used and the characters in this book are so much fun. Tattooed uncles with warm smiles and a grandma wearing a unitard with corn on the cob patterns are just some of the delightfully illustrated characters.  The only potential down side of this book is that it many contradict some of the modern personal safety language we give to kids that they don’t have to hug anyone they aren’t comfortable with. 

Jen Wecker 

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