Friday, October 15, 2010

Thumb Love

Step 11: If you fail,...try again
Written and illustrated by Elise Primavera
$16.99, ages 4-8, 48 pages.

Breaking up is hard to do, and Lulu should know: she's developed a 12-step plan to quit the thumb-sucking habit.

But just try to convince Thumb that staying out of Lulu's mouth is a good idea.

In this hysterical, sweet book, a bob-haired Lulu finds the hutzpah to put her thumb in it's place:

Back with her other fingers instead of corked in her mouth like a lollipop.

Now, Thumb's pretty peeved that Lulu's cutting him off, but what other choice does she have?

All the grown-ups and kids in her life keep razzing her about the awful things that come from thumb-sucking.

Buck teeth, a lisp, not to mention the ridicule of others her age.

But every time someone snickers or makes Lulu feel different because she sucks her thumb, Thumb makes everything OK.

"Don't listen to her," Thumb whispers as he snuggles into her cozy mouth at bedtime. "Come on, kid, it's you and me against the world, right?"

At first Lulu is ready to agree with whatever Thumb says, but then she starts to realize Thumb's not the kind of enabler she needs.

One night at a sleepover with cousin Lili, an ex-thumb sucker, Lulu has a nightmare that her teeth have grown to the size of a bunny's.

Running to the mirror, she gasps in horror. "Thith ith ridiculouth! It'th all your fault, Thumb!"

Thumb, of course, won't take any responsibility for her protruding teeth and quickly tries to deflate her worry.

"Relax…You're totally dreaming," he tells her in the dream. And, of course, she is. But it's enough to scare Lulu into wanting a trial separation.

"From now on we're not going to see so much of each other," she tells Thumb as he looks back at her with dread. "NO!" he shrieks.

Not only that, Lulu adds, she's inventing a 12-step program to quit being a sucker.

Poor Thumb's in tears, but hey, even thumbs have to grow up. (Or is that, grow bigger?)

First, Lulu announces her plan to quit. "Yay," yell family and friends. Then, she eases herself into the idea.

Her second step: only suck her thumb when no one is looking.

OK, she's digressing a little and she knows it, so on to Step 3.

Step 3: Don't follow Step 2 or she'll never go to another slumber party or camp, or to college.

Oh my goodness, don't look now, Thumb is bawling. But Lulu's a tough little gal and  keeps Thumb at arm's length.

It's time to take action.

First, Lulu puts a sock over him (Step 4). And what does Thumb do? He feigns a coughing attack.

Really, Thumb? You can't breath? Come on, you're a thumb.

After that, she dips Thumb in Tabasco sauce (Step 5), tries to wedge him under her body while she's asleep. (Step 6) and cover him in Play-Doh (Step 7).

This is getting tough, but Lulu is no quitter when it comes to quitting, and by the time she gets to Step 11, she's starting to lose her thumb habit.

But will she and Thumb every be buddies again?

A hoot from start to finish, Thumb Love is a must for anyone who's ever thought their thumb was the tastiest thing around.

Oct. 11 -- Booking Mama,
Oct. 12 -- Through the Looking Glass,
Oct. 13 -- Random Acts of Reading,
Oct. 14 -- Two Writing Teachers,
Oct. 15 -- Where the Best Books Are,
Oct. 16 -- The Book Faerie,
Oct. 17 -- Picture Book Review,
Oct. 18 -- Mundie Moms,


  1. This book can apply to children and adults at all points of our lives. Love it!

  2. Has anyone used this book as an intervention for thumb-sucking? I'm just wondering if it was effective.

    Westminster Elementary