Chocolate Pudding Brings Peace of Mind!
Chocolate Pudding perfectly captures the powerful confusion divorce ushers into the world of a six-year-old boy and his little brother. The boy just knows his mom moved out of their home, suddenly and without explanation — because he smeared chocolate pudding all over his brother one day. After all, he muses, "I was in big trouble mister!" for getting carried away in what seemed like just so much fun.
Levin's picturebook world is accompanied by his reassuring voice patiently explaining to the young reader all these new and complex adult words and phrases:
'Explaining' is when you talk to somebody about something so they can understand it, even if that somebody is a little kid.
'Differences' is the grown-up word for everybody not liking the same thing and not always getting their way.
'Adjusting-to-our-new-arrangement' is what you do when you don't have an ideal situation and it's still okay.
Gorgeously illustrated by Bryan Langdo, Chocolate Pudding's punchline is the boy's huge relief upon discovering it was NOT his pudding antics that led his mom to leave the family. In fact, he learns, he and his brother didn't have a darn thing to do with his family's breakup! (And just to be sure that all kids hearing the story understand: "Relief," he notes, "is the grown-up word for feeling like you're carrying a big heavy book bag and someone takes it off your back.")
Levin's premise is that "big stuff like divorce needs some explaining," and Chocolate Pudding is more than up to the task.
Highly recommended for young children (perhaps 2 to 6 years of age) and anyone touched by divorce's sometimes long shadow.