PPBF: Tough Eddie

Hurray! It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday! For more picture book reviews, please visit Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog.

And while you are hopping around the blogsphere, please please please hop over to Darlene Bock-Jacobson – I’m guest posting there today: Summer Activity Tool-Kit For Your Kids.


I’ve got a special book to share with you today – it has to do with being honest, with yourself and with others.

When you were a child, did you ever keep information about yourself or your family hidden from your friends?

Let me relate a really FUNNY story about what happens when you don’t tell people how you feel…I think many of you will be nodding your heads because it has probably happened to you.

When my husband and I were first married, my mom invited us for dinner. Now, although she was an adequate cook, I wouldn’t put her meals in the “gourmet” category. I’m not sure why she chose this particular recipe…she did make a fantastic roast beef…and her homemade mac and cheese was out-of-this-world!

The table was set with her best linen tablecloth and the china and silverware that she only used for “company”…everything looked beautiful!


F111005PM-0064 This is a view of the table settings in the State Dining Room, for the Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005 White House dinner, celebrating the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities 40th Anniversary. Chosen by Mrs. Laura Bush, the centerpieces are autumnal roses displayed in vermeil vases to compliment the Reagan China. White House photo by Paul Morse

This is a view of the table settings in the State Dining Room, for the Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005 White House dinner, celebrating the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities 40th Anniversary. Chosen by Mrs. Laura Bush, the centerpieces are autumnal roses displayed in vermeil vases to compliment the Reagan China. White House photo by Paul Morse

We sat down and she brought in a large platter of chicken and tomatoes, garnished attractively with sprigs of parsley. After everyone had taken some, we began to eat and my husband, wanting to make a good impression, complimented her on the delicious meal. “What do you call it?” my husband asked. “Chicken Momma Mia,” she replied. At the end of the meal, my husband again raved about how delicious it had been, but on the way home, he admitted that he hadn’t really enjoyed it…and I agreed that it had been somewhat bland.

Fast-forward to a few weeks later…we had received another invitation to have dinner with my parents. Again the table was beautifully laid…and again my mother brought in a platter of…you guessed it…CHICKEN MOMMA MIA! This time my husband was a little less enthusiastic with his compliments…but I guess the damage had been done…and we were served Chicken Momma Mia several more times before we told my mother that perhaps the next time, we could enjoy one of her other culinary creations.

I think it’s really important for parents to be honest with their children and in front of their children…we are their role models and they ARE watching us, all of the time…even when we don’t think they are paying attention or listening. We want them to be honest…with themselves, with us and with others.

tough eddie


Written by Elizabeth Winthrop

Illustrated by Lillian Hoban

Publisher: Dutton (1985)

Theme: Being proud of yourself, friendships


Eddie loves to wear his cowboy boots and thick leather belt. He enjoys building with blocks and playing with his friends, Andrew and Phillip. Eddie also likes playing with his very own dollhouse, but he keeps it hidden from his friends because he believes they will make fun of him. However, he discovers that his friends would like to play with it also and that they respect him and like him as he is, no matter what he is playing with.

Why I like this book:

  • This book is a wonderful springboard for a discussion about being proud of yourself. If we encourage our young children to pursue their own individual interests…whether or not those interests seem to be the norm, we are telling them that they are likeable as they are. Feeling good about oneself and liking oneself are important factors in the development of a good self-image. In addition, a child with a strong positive self-image is less likely to be influenced by peer pressure.
  • It’s also a good text for talking about friendship – we want to help young children learn how to be a good friend. We need to encourage kids to have friends who encourage and support them.


Shoebox dollhouse (or fort or castle or enchanted land)

shoebox dollhouse

I love recycling stuff…shoeboxes are one of my favorite craft materials.

You will need: 1 shoebox, construction paper, glue, scissors, markers, smaller boxes and small figures (optional)

  1. Cover the inside ‘walls’ of the box with ‘wallpaper’ and glue in place.
  2. Smaller boxes can be covered and used as beds, tables, dressers.
  3. If you want to make an entire dollhouse, use a different shoebox for each room and stack them.

It’s going to be a long hot summer – are you ready with a plan of activities for your kids? Don’t forget to head over to Darlene’s blog…you might find some tips that will make your summer more enjoyable.

About viviankirkfield

Writer for children - Reader forever - Mom of 3, educator, author of FOUR OTTERS TOBOGGAN: AN ANIMAL COUNTING BOOK (PomegranateKids, March 15, 2019), PIPPA'S PASSOVER PLATE (Holiday House, Feb 13, 2019), SWEET DREAMS, SARAH (Creston Books, May 1, 2019); MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE (Little Bee Books, Spring 2020); FROM HERE TO THERE: INVENTIONS THAT CHANGED THE WAY THE WORLD MOVES (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Fall 2020) picture book junkie, lover of travel, hiking, fly-fishing, cooking, and playing Monopoly with my young grandson.

Posted on June 12, 2015, in Being yourself, Perfect Picture Book Friday, Summer activities for kids and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. This is an oldie gold that somehow I have completely missed. Many thanks, Vivian.


  2. Loved the title. This is a great little book with a great theme. I must look out for it and see if its in our library. Thanks, Vivian. Gee! PPBF is closed for your summer, I will certainly miss it. I loved seeing what wonderful choices you bring. Have a great weekend.


    • I should actually keep posting picture book reviews, Diane…even if Susanna doesn’t…I’ll try…but may take off a week here and there. I’ll definitely be back next week with a special one because an old friend, author Suzanne Williams who has a wildly popular series called Goddess Girls is going to be featured for Will Write for Cookies on Saturday and I told her I would review her newest book on Friday. 😉
      Thanks for the sweet words and vote of confidence. 🙂


  3. I remember making shoebox doll houses. And tiny furniture and curtains and rugs… it was fun. You could make each one different. One of mine was a hogan. One was a castle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hilarious! I promise not to serve you chicken! Loved your summer tool kit, too. Really 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This really is a great share today. We had a Little Tykes doll house that we shared with our grandsons and they loved playing with it. They used it a little differently than our daughter, but had a ball.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great review, great choice, and great story! 😀


  7. Funny story, Vivian. Yes, those little white lies will often come back to bite you…or make dinner an ordeal. 😀

    This book sounds great! Will be suggesting it for our school library. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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