Barking Up The Jealousy Tree
Percy and TumTum ($14.95, Running Press Kids, Ages 4 and up) is a book that teaches kids an important lesson, but in a very sweet and subtle way. Percy is a sausage dog who lives with a loving family. One day a fluffy, friendly dog, named TumTum, becomes the newest member of his family. Percy is not happy when he quickly realizes that all the attention he used to get is now going to TumTum. Percy cannot get control of his jealousy, so he plots and schemes and plays unkind tricks on TumTum. Finally one of Percy’s pranks seems to go too far, however the outcome even surprises Percy himself, making him reevaluate what he’s been up to.
What made me want to dive into this book is that it’s a story about dogs, but what kept me reading is that it relates to people, too. The message is wonderful – being jealous is normal but it doesn’t solve any problems. Author and illustrator Jen Hill does a perfect job matching the delightful and colorful illustrations to the story, and I really like the matte finish of the paper and just the whole look of the book.
There’s no doubt that everyone gets jealous at one time or another. The story of Percy and TumTum let’s youngsters know that there’s a wonderful way to turn that negative feeling into a positive one. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and your kids will, too!
-Reviewed by Debbie Glade.