#1077 – Perfect Picture Book Friday: Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do! by Daisy Hirst

It is once again Perfect Picture Book Friday! I hope you enjoy the second children’s book by new author-illustrator Daisy Hirst (The Girl with the Parrot on Her Head; Candlewick Press, April 26, 2016; 978-0763678296). Natalie and new little brother Alphonse get along well, until Alphonse eats something he should not eat. I love this story for its kids-solving-kid-problems theme.

cover Alphonse, That Is Not OK to Do!
Written and Illustrated by Daisy Hirst
Candlewick Press  11/08/2016
40 pages    AGE 2—5

Theme/Topic:  sibling rivalry, creativity, imagination, art
Genre:  fiction
Opening:  “Once there was Natalie. And then, there was Alphonse, too.”

“Once there was just Natalie. And then there was Alphonse, too. Natalie mostly didn’t mind Alphonse being there—they both like naming pigeons, bouncing things off bunk beds, and sharing a story on the chair. But Alphonse sometimes draws on things that Natalie has made, and Natalie hates that.

“One day, Natalie finds Alphonse eating her favorite book, and she’s had enough: ‘Alphonse, that is not OK to do!’” [INSIDE JACKET]

The Story
Natalie mostly likes having her little brother around. They do many things together, but like many younger brothers, Alphonse does things Natalie hates. He sometimes eats or draws on something Natalie has made. One day, Natalie finds Alphonse under the bunk beds eating her favorite book. Annoyed, Natalie yells, ‘ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO!”

Alphonse suggests a way to fix the book, but Natalie isn’t listening. She leaves to take her bath. While bathing, Natalie hears noises. It sounds like a “roaring tornado, screeching beasts, and a thousand glass peas” are attacking Alphonse. Natalie dries off and looks for her little brother. “Are you hurt?” she asks Alphonse. Do the two kids apologize and get along for the rest of the night, or do they go to bed unhappy?


What I Thought
I like Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do for several reasons. Since I could write a 1,000 word review—no one wants that on a Friday—here, instead, are my baker’s dozen of reasons why Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do should be in kindergartens and homes with young siblings.

  • Both monsters act like children of the same approximate ages,
  • Natalie reacts with anger, but not with name-calling, hitting, yelling for a parent, or actual revenge,
  • Natalie takes out her anger by drawing (kid version of punching a pillow),
  • Natalie’s guilt over the anger-drawn picture manifests itself in the noises heard as she bathes (the noises are real, just not what she believes them to be),
  • A towel-clad, worried Natalie leaves her unfinished bath to check on her brother,
  • Alphonse (with child-like innocence) offers to stick the book back together with jam,
  • Alphonse tries to say sorry by finishing Natalie’s drawing, (not knowing it is her angry-drawing about him),
  • The children make peace, and then draw, each adding to the picture,
  • Parents do not referee the kids’ problem, solve it, or punish either one—it’s all up to the two kids to figure out,
  • Natalie and Alphonse are not age-specific, allowing kids to imagine themselves or a sibling as one of the characters,
  • Hirst’s screen-printed illustrations use limited colors and look drawn by young children/monsters,
  • The bright, 2-color cover will catch a child’s eye, and
  • Hirst’s humor is light, well-timed, and wonderfully childlike.

Also, Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do . . . Teachers and parents will love this story, which is a great as a group read aloud and as an individual read. Oh, and the sentences are short, punchy, and invites character voices . . . oh, oh, oh, . . . I’m stopping.


Activities and Resources
BOOK:  Tangle Art and Drawing Games for Kids: A Silly Book for Creative and Visual Thinking

Games to Enrich Sibling Relationships

Bonding Activities for Kids

Website: Kid’s Health carries many articles and help regarding sibling rivalry: http://kidshealth.org/en/kids/sibling-rivalry.html

Learn How to Draw at Kinder Art:  http://www.kinderart.com/drawing/

Daisy Hirst’s website: http://www.daisyhirst.com/

Find more Perfect Picture Books at Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! Text and illustrations copyright © 2016 by Daisy Hirst. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Watertown, MA.

AmazonIndie BooksCandlewick Press

Add Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do to Your Goodreads Shelf HERE.

Reprinted with permission from ALPHONSE, THAT IS NOT OK TO DO! © 2016 by Daisy Hirst, Candlewick Press. Illustrations © 2016 by Daisy Hirst.

Copyright © 2016 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do
Written and Illustrated by Daisy Hirst
Candlewick Press 11/08/2016

16 thoughts on “#1077 – Perfect Picture Book Friday: Alphonse, That is Not OK to Do! by Daisy Hirst

  1. I like that they are monsters! And the idea of putting a book together with jam! Now I have to find this book!


  2. These are actually VERY cute monsters 🙂 And the name “Alphonse” is just—well, I think—so appealing! It’s great when a picture book can be fit for all ages, too. Love the list, Sue!


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