Patsy Says

Patsy Says
Written and Illustrated

April 2001

Where to buy


Booklist: Tryon, Leslie, Patsy Says. Apr. 2001, 40p. illus. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, $16 (0-689-82297-9)

Ages 5-8. Readers familiar with the Pleasant Valley gang will recognize Patsy Pig, who appears in this title as a teacher’s helper in a rowdy first-grade class. Parent’s night is coming up, and Patsy tries to give the kids a crash course in etiquette. She offers lessons in greeting guests, introductions, serving refreshments, and so on, but the students carry on in their same raucous, impolite way: "Tell me about yourself. Have you always been this ugly?" asks a collie in a pinafore during the "making pleasant conversation" session.

Ears red with frustration, Patsy gives up, but on the big night, the students surprise her with angelic behavior and a thank you for all her hard work. Overly didactic, Patsy’s dilemma might be less appealing to children than to adults faced with boisterous kids. Young ones will connect more with Tryon’s expressive illustrations, which perfectly capture first-grade body language and naughtiness. A good choice for sparking discussions about appropriate behavior. - Gillian Engberg

School Library Journal: TRYON, Leslie, Patsy Says, illustrated by author, K-Gr 2

A return visit to Pleasantville Elementary School. It is five days before Open House, and Ms. Klingensmith’s first graders need some instruction on conduct and behavior. Patsy Pig volunteers to educate the raucous group and, needless to say, things don’t run smoothly. The lesson on meeting and greeting is somewhat lost on the kids, as is serving refreshments and making pleasant conversation with adults.

The action dramatically changes when Patsy yells, "I GIVE UP, I QUIT," That scene alone is worth the price of the book. While she cools down, Ms. Klingensmith asks her students to write about what they have learned about manners over the past week.

Readers will feel the anticipation as the parents file in for Open House; Patsy covers her eyes with her hooves, waiting for it all to fall apart. Of course the children are marvelous; Pricipal Sterling recognizes Patsy's wonderful job, and everyone claps. Tryon wraps it all up with a praising note from Patsy to her new "little angels."

The pen-and-ink with watercolor illustrations of the assorted animal characters and their reactions to the lessons are clever and amusing. The text appears in different sizes, adding variety to the layout. Once again, Tryon has created a bright, lively, and amusing tale. Pitch this one to teachers, and whip it out when your kindergartners and first graders come to visit. - Meghan R. Malone, Turner Free Library, Randolph, MA.

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