If you think YOU have a busy schedule, take a look at Ernestine Buckmeister's weekly
On Mondays she sculpts with Clay Lumpkin.
On Tuesdays she does water ballet with Miss Goldfisher.
On Wednesdays she knits with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem.
On Thursdays she takes tuba lessons with Mr. Oompah.
On Fridays she yodels with Little Old Lady Hoo.
On Saturdays she studies karate with Grand Master HiYa!
And on Sundays she practices yoga with Guru Prakash Pretzel
Her well-meaning, busy parents have packed her after-school hours, turning Ernestine
into the over-scheduled poster child of today.
But Ernestine is about to opt out and do what no Buckmeister has ever done before:
Comstock Book Award for the Best Read Aloud for Older Children - from
Minnesota State University Moorhead
"The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by
Suzanne Beaky, and published by Flashlight Press, received the Comstock Book Award
for the best read aloud for older children. The award is named in recognition of the
pioneering Moorhead family headed by Solomon G. Comstock, a Minnesota state senator
and U.S. Congressman who is considered the father of the Moorhead Normal School
"Ernestine Buckmeister’s well-meaning parents zip out the door every day on their way to
work, calling adages like “Live life to the fullest!” and “Make every moment count!” to
their daughter. Unfortunately, such mantras have manifested themselves in a busy extra-
curricular schedule for young Ernestine. On Mondays, she has sculpting with Clay
Lumpkin. On Tuesdays, Ernestine does water ballet with Miss Goldfisher. Wednesdays
consist of knitting with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem, while Thursdays mean tuba lessons with Mr.
Oompah. Fridays Ernestine yodels with Little Old Lady Hoo, Saturdays she does karate
with Grand Master HiYa, and on Sundays, Ernestine Buckmeister practices yoga with
Guru Prakash Pretzel. Between her schedule and the nanny, Nanny O’Dear, to keep her
on task, Ernestine has no time for play! Until one day, Ernestine takes her schedule into
her own hands.
"The use of vibrant colors adds a whimsical feel to Beaky’s acrylic illustrations. Double
page spreads are effectively used to show the stress in Ernestine’s life as well as the joy of
play. Equally effective are the paneled paintings, which depict Ernestine at each of her
activities with plenty of detail and added humor.
"Children in grades one through six enjoyed the wittiness of this book, laughing at the
names of the teachers and their personalities. They also appreciated the illustrations that
were “filled with humor” and “did a great job conveying the book’s events.” Students
related to Ernestine’s busy life; one child even reported feeling like she was in the book.
Readers appreciated the lessons to be learned from this book, both for children, who
need to remember to play and be kids, and parents, who need reminders to allow their
children time for themselves."
From LibrarySparks Magazine, May/June 2013
"Ernestine's busy parents sign her up for every class and lesson in town and hire a nanny to
keep her on schedule. But Ernestine envies her neighbor Hugo, who entertains himself
playing in his yard. So she "schedules" some free play time and draws Nanny O'Dear into
the magic. After a funny, frenzied search to find the off-schedule pair, her parents not only
agree to compromise but discover the joys of imaginative play for themselves. Delightful!"
From The International Journal of Play (Vol. 1, Issue 1, pages 105-106) - Read full
"Children at play – self-initiated play – unconsciously live the wisdom of breathing in and
breathing out with effort that leaves one refreshed rather than depleted. As Ernestine’s
story demonstrates, both children and adults experience this sense of wellbeing and
refreshment in mindful activities. We would all do well to ponder Ernestine’s experience –
then take a moment to sit, breathe, calm the mind, be curious and open, letting our clear
mind engage playfully with what we find there.
Lodding’s text and Beaky’s bright and quirky illustrations draw one to The Busy Life of
Ernestine Buckmeister. The theme of the crowded daily life sustains your interest as you
see yourself in both Ernestine and her well-meaning parents…. Lodding’s book comes at
a time when one finds articles on mindfulness practice for both children and parents in
health blogs, newsletters, educational articles, newspapers, magazines, and the national
Lodding and Beaky playfully point to the importance of play, finding practices that reorient
us to that importance when we lose our way so we live life to the fullest, making every
moment count – inhale, exhale, discovering the wisdom of play!" --Sharon Solloway, Ph.
D., Professor, Mindsets and Mindfulness Practice, Bloomsburg University of PA
Lodding makes her children’s book debut with an addition to the growing bookshelf of
titles about overbooked and overworked children. And like many of its predecessors, its
message is more for the parents making the schedules and paying for the after-school
classes than for kids who, like Ernestine, innately know that bouncing on a trampoline and
playing imaginary games outside beats an exhausting week packed with organized
activities. Both Lodding and Beaky (the Hailey Twitch series) deploy abundant humor to
make the story’s earnest message more palatable. Lodding’s prose is studded with
punny quips and names (Ernestine’s instructors include sculptor Clay Lumpkin, yodeling
expert Little Old Lady Hoo, and yoga guru Prakash Pretzel). For her part, Beaky
provides acrylic caricatures that really take off once Ernestine and her nanny
start to mix up her schedule (Ernestine is seen playing tuba during swim lessons and
accidentally giving her knitting teacher a karate kick) and when Ernestine’s parents try to
track her down after Ernestine and Nanny O’Dear play hooky on a grassy hilltop.
From The Horn Book
One day overscheduled Ernestine bails on her lessons to do something outrageous: play.
The book has a capital "M" message but also lots of heart. Plus, there's amusement in
Lodding's text (e.g., a yodeling teacher named "Little Old Lady Hoo") and in Beaky's
acrylics (e.g., Ernestine's fully clothed mother holds up a sign underwater asking
Ernestine's swimming instructor where her daughter is).
From Kirkus Reviews
What does it mean to "live life to the fullest"?
Young Ernestine Buckmeister's parents pack her schedule, with a different activity daily
after school, with yoga and karate on the weekend. They've even hired brusque Nanny
O'Dear to keep her on schedule. As mother says, "Make every moment count!" Ernestine
has no time to play, though it's clear from her longing looks at neighbor Hugo and his
soccer ball that she wants to. The big schedule board that covers a wall of her bedroom
fills her with dismay. One afternoon, Ernestine rushes out the door past Nanny, shouting,
"Today I scheduled something new!" It's a trip to the park, to play with other kids. When
the yodeling teacher calls home to report Ernestine's absence, the news sends her parents
into a tizzy. They visit all her activities, from knitting to water ballet to tuba practice. Just
following in their daughter's footsteps exhausts the Buckmeisters, and, when they spot her
in the distance, they barely have enough energy to trudge up a hill to meet her. Both
Ernestine and Nanny seem happy and renewed. From that day forward, sometimes it's
activities, and sometimes..."she just played." There's great energy in both Lodding's
storytelling and Beaky's bright acrylic illustrations.
The valuable lesson is all the more effective for being shown, and not preached—though
perhaps it's meant more for adults than the children they are reading to.
From School Library Journal
Ernestine has a full schedule. Every day after school, she has a different lesson with a
different teacher. Mondays, it’s sculpting with Clay Lumpkin. Tuesdays, water ballet with
Miss Goldfisher. On Sundays, Ernestine has yoga with Guru Prakash Pretzel. During one
of her meditation sessions, she has an idea. She convinces her Nanny O’Dear to play in
the grass on the hilltop with her. When her parents finally catch up with the pair, she talks
them into slowing the pace a bit. Beautiful acrylic illustrations in vibrant colors show the
child’s myriad activities and frenzied lifestyle. However, the story seems to be written
more for parents than children. Taking time to play without a schedule is one of the
overarching themes here, but Ernestine seems to realize this all along.
From Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"...The humorous text, replete with names like sculpture teacher Clay Lumpkin and karate
Grand Master HiYa, holds a serious lesson for over scheduling parents. Ernestine's
unhappiness is clear on the jacket, where Beaky's acrylic paintings show her pulling a
wagon filled with equipment for her lessons, while she sorrowfully eyeballs Hugo at play
and Nanny checks the schedule. Not quite cartoons, the characters are more doll-like
with naturalistic bodies and large, expressive eyes. Full and double-page scenes of action
set the stage for each activity, with characters designed to add to the humor."
From Library Media Connection - RECOMMENDED
"...This will be a fun story for kids to read to their parents. The comical illustrations will
have readers engaged. A good read-aloud...."
From the Michigan Reading Journal
Ernestine Buckmeister is a very busy girl. Her parents have every minute of every day
planned out for her with the hopes that she “lives life to the fullest”. In the end everyone
learns that finding time to play is part of “living life to the fullest.” Children can easily relate
to Ernestine’s overscheduled life and will enjoy the beautiful illustrations. It’s sure to be a
From Baltimore's Child
"Lodding and illustrator Suzanne Beaky have created a quirky, funny story that reinforces
the importance of free, unstructured play."
From The Portland Book Review
Ernestine Buckmeister is a busy young lady. Her well-meaning parents have scheduled
nearly every minute of her after school life. The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, by
Linda Ravin Lodding, is a funny story about a girl with too much to do. On Mondays she
has sculpting class with Clay Lumpkin. On Tuesdays she practices water ballet with Miss
Goldfisher. On Wednesdays she knits with Pearl Stitchem. On Thursdays she plays the
tuba with Mr. Oompah. On Fridays she yodels with Little Old Lady Who and her
weekends are filled with karate and yoga practice! Ernestine has no time to play. One day
she decides to make her own schedule. She drags her nanny to the park and together they
make daisy chains, build a fort, and have fun in nature. Hilarity ensues when Ernestine’s
parents search for her, visiting the locations of each of their daughter’s lessons. Will they
ever realize why Ernestine always seems so frazzled? Parents and children will appreciate
the lesson that there should be balance in life – time for lessons and time for playing.
Suzanne Beaky’s acrylic illustrations are masterful and truly enjoyable. Each
page holds new details to discover. This book is bound to become a family
"This debut picture book makes its point perfectly.... The illustrations... show a frenzy of
activity.... A helter-skelter of varying perspectives, diagonal lines, falling objects, and
crowded calendars sporting Post-It notes all contribute to the frantic mood of the story...."
From the South Sound Book Review Council of Washington - Rating: Highly
The folks who really need to read this book are those parents out there who are so
determined that their children live life to the fullest and make every moment count that they
over schedule their lives, leaving them little time to just be kids. Ernestine’s parents are
like that. Ernestine has a packed schedule, with different activities every day. As she
dashes off to one class or another, she looks longingly at the little boy next door, playing
independently in his yard. One day when she revolts and schedules some play time in the
park instead of showing up at her usual class, her parents make the rounds of all her
classes trying to locate her. Before they finally do locate her, they’ve gotten a taste of
how exhausting Ernestine’s usual schedule is, and the family makes some changes, with
some new ideas about what it means to live life to the fullest. The illustrations are
bright and silly, adding to the sense of absurdity to it all.
From Good Reads with Ronna
Just the title, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister made me want to read this book.
Written by Linda Ravin Lodding, this is a story written as much for parents as it is for
kids....In this age of overachieving children and over-parenting parents, this book teaches
a valuable lesson – that kids are kids, and they need their playtime. In addition to the
wonderful storyline, you and your child will love the fabulously creative and colorful
illustrations by Suzanne Beaky as much as I do. If you are the type of parent who over-
schedules your children’s activities, this book will make you see things in a new and
brighter light. You’ll want to take your child and run through a park, throw a ball or just sit
on a blanket and look up at the clouds together. Ernestine Buckmeister teaches you there’
s simply no better way to spend your time.
From Metro Family Magazine, Oklahoma City
After juggling a different activity each day of her overscheduled life, Ernestine breaks free
for a day of playing at the park, reminding kids and adults alike about the importance of
including fun and simple childhood wonder on every agenda.
From The New York Journal of Books
"The illustrator has created beautiful and detailed artwork that really helps emphasize
Ernestine and her crazy life. The images are creative and funny. Children ... will delight in
the moral of the story: Sometimes a kid just needs to have time to play, have fun, and
exercise only the imagination."
"This book is a joyful and funny reminder to kids and parents alike about the
importance and power of play. ...Our children will all be happier and healthier if we
lessen all those lessons and get out to play." --Darell Hammond, New York Times best-
selling author and CEO of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to creating
community play spaces within walking distance of every child in the US.
From Dr. Alvin Rosenfeld, co-author of The Over-Scheduled Child
“This charming children’s book about Ernestine, the over-scheduled poster child of today,
has a lovely message delivered in an elegant and straightforward way: Maybe we would
do better if we could add some real play back into our hurried lives. Maybe living life to
the fullest has to include time to imagine and just be. I love this book; it is a wonderful
accomplishment, beautifully – and playfully – illustrated. Bravo!” --Alvin
Rosenfeld, MD, co-author, “The Over-Scheduled Child,” Lecturer, Harvard University
School of Medicine
From Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic: A Manifesto for a Different Way of
"Like all the best children's books, when an adult reads about Ernestine Buckmeister,
they're the ones who are learning the real life lessons. Linda Lodding and Suzanne Beaky
deliver a funny, pertinent and moving message to all moms and dads about the dangers of
over-scheduling - and about the transforming, re-energising benefits of play, for all ages
and stages. Kids will love it too - but, of course, they already understand..."
From Dr. Peggy Sharp
Dr. Sharp has listed The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister in her workshop handbook
for teachers and librarians: "It certainly is a timely topic, and I do hear people
responding favorably." Dr. Peggy Sharp is one of the foremost experts in North America
on children's literature and literature programs. She is well known for her presentations
about new children's books, connecting the books to all areas of the curriculum, and
motivating children to read. Read more about Dr. Sharp and her workshops at www.
From award-winning children's book author Tammi Sauer
"Ernestine Buckmeister is on the go-go-go every day of the week. When she's not
yodeling, knitting, tuba-playing, and karate-chopping, she's busy doing water ballet,
sculpting, and mastering yoga poses. But...she longs for something more. In this wildly
funny take on the life and times of an over-scheduled kid, Ernestine is a character
worth celebrating." --Tammi Sauer, award-winning author of Cowboy Camp, Chicken
Dance, Mostly Monsterly, and Mr. Duck Means Business
From Librarian of Snark blog
"This is a great picture book that should appeal to today's overscheduled child. ...I really
like the goofy illustration style of this. This would be a great book for the parents of these
From Author Christine Hohlbaum
“Take life by the scruff of the neck and shake it for all it’s worth!” That’s what my mama
likes to say. But how can you grab life and give it a nudge if you don’t have any strength?
Play is the best way to access your scruff-of-the-neck vision.
This October author Linda Ravin Lodding and illustrator Suzanne Beaky will release a
most delightful tale of Ernestine Buckmeister, the most overbooked child on the planet.
Her well-meaning parents assign her to daily afternoon lessons ranging from yoga to
yodelling to knitting to karate. She longingly watches her neighbor Hugo bounce around
his yard while she dashes from one appointment to the next (with the help of her nanny,
aptly named Nanny O’Dear). One day she strikes all her time commitments to watch the
clouds and discovers a whole new world of creativity in the park.
Once again Nature plays a central role in capturing our amazing imaginations. When the
parents learn Ernestine has gone missing from one of her lessons, they attempt to track her
down at each of them. By the time they end up in the park, they are frazzled. It’s a
beautiful moment of realization that life can be lived to the fullest by simply being who you
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a great power of slow read for kids ages 4
to 8 and the parents who love them.
From the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Review:
"Linda Ravin Lodding teaches an important lesson in her story without being didactic, but
with charming characters and happenings. The brilliant illustrations of Suzanne Beaky are
an absolute treat, full of fun and telling details in bright colors."
From Anakalian Whims blog
I... thought The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister by Linda Ravin Lodding quite
fabulous. More of a cautionary tale for adults at the amusement of children than just a
children’s story book, it was engaging and fun, and had the kid’s best interest at heart. I
think its easy for parents these days to over-schedule their children’s extra curriculars, and
this book clearly helps define the line between living life to the fullest and creating a hot
mess of a child’s day-to-day schedule.
From Momma's Bacon blog
An effective children’s story will reach and hold the interest of the intended audience and
the (adult) reader and the beautifully illustrated The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
hits close to home. While my husband and I try and strike a good balance in giving our
daughter lots of independent play, I realized that it was me who is no stranger to
overextending myself at times in my life and I really want to make sure to scale back when
I do because I do not want this bad habit to rub off on my daughter. In fact, I am going to
take Ernestine’s advice and will start relaxing a bit on my daily Momma’s Bacon blog
posts. I would so love to do this blog as an actual career with multiple daily posts, but the
reality is this is a fun, non-paying (passionate) hobby that I love -and maybe even one day
it could be a career – but right now it does take a lot of time in between my work and
family duties and I think my readers would understand if I only posted a few times each
week instead of every day. In the (paraphrased) words of Paul Simon’s “The 59th Street
Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”, I’m going to slow down since I’ve been moving too fast.
My readers are probably a lot like myself; have a full-time job to pay the bills on top of
trying to be the best spouse and parent they can be and sometimes we can forget to take
time to relax without any self-inflicted deadlines. If any of you have children out there who
can relate to being too busy or this hits home personally as a parent, you will love this read
and Ernestine Buckmeister’s outlook in taking control of her too busy life.
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is about a young girl whose schedule is filled with
lots of fun and interesting after-school activities that leave her no time to sit and think with
her own relaxed, free-spirited play. She feels overbooked and overworked and since her
life is just following in the footsteps of her own busy parents (Ernestine has a nanny to help
her keep track of all her activities!), Ernestine has decided to take matters into her own
hands by skipping out on her classes to give herself a moment to just breathe. Living life
to the fullest for Ernestine is not filling every moment with a scheduled activity and her
parents (who do realize they are also completely exhausted after going into a tailspin) have
the sense to give Ernestine the ability to cut down on her scheduled life going forward and
give her time to just play. This as a great read for both parents and children and don’t
forget to take a look at your own busy schedules for any ways to cut down to maximize
your family’s own personal play time.
From Marjolein Books Blog
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a hilarious picture book about an
overscheduled girl. Ernestine has the most absurd after school life you can imagine, but
never time to do the things she actually wants, her parents think it is best for her to do as
much as possible educational en engaging activities, not keeping in mind that Ernestine can
be tired after school or just wants to play ball with Hugo. An important message for all the
parents in the real word who overschedule their children’s after school life these days. All
of Ernestine’s teachers have a name that suits with the activity they teach: Tuba lessons by
Mister Oompah, Yoga by Guru Prakash Pretzel and karate with grand master HiYa. The
book is illustrated beautiful by Suzanne Beaky. I think every reader, young and old, will
fall in love with this colorful book!
From Inspired by Savannah blog
What a fun and entertaining book this is.
From Busy Bee School
"...There's lots to do in life that's lots of fun, but Mr. and Mrs. Buckmeister find out the
hard way that too much stuff to do, and not enough time for play and relaxation, can cause
anyone to be a bit frazzled. This is a charming book that parents can laugh with and learn
from as they're reminded of what it's like to be a kid."
From Perfect Picture Book Friday
"Kids will enjoy Ernestine's ridiculous schedule, her amusing list of lessons, her teachers'
funny names, the bold bright colors of the pictures, and Ernestine's inspired solution to her
From NY Journal of Books and Crypto-Capers
“In this story the author captures the chaotic life of most children and their parents… The
illustrator has created beautiful and detailed artwork that really helps emphasize Ernestine
and her crazy life. The images are creative and funny.”
From There's a Book for That blog
"So many kids would be able to relate to Ernestine's dilemma, from elementary-aged
children all the way through high school. The activities may be different, but the feelings are
From OC Family blog
Play Mom blogger Michele Whiteaker said: "I like the happy illustrations and especially
the rich imagination that comes to life on the play pages with funny pets and funky facial
expressions. What I really love is the message that sometimes what’s best for our kids is
time to play."
From The Corner on Character blog
The Importance of Being Ernestine
Think you know what it means to be over-scheduled? Think again. My Flashlight Press
preview copy of The Busy Life Of Ernestine Buckmeister by author Linda Ravin Lodding
came in today's mail and I cannot wait until October, when Ernestine makes her debut on
the children's literature stage, and you get to meet the queen of the extracurricular.
The scene is all-too familiar: this precious prodigy can't ever play with her friend over the
fence because she's rushing off to the next event on her calendar, kindly kept by Nanny
O'Dear. Her parents, who've advised "live life to the fullest" and "make every moment
count," have her scheduled solid with something extra every day of the week - sculpting
and swimming, taking musical arts and martial arts, yodeling and yoga, knitting and no free
time. She is one busy beaver!
And guess what? Just like a beaver, she'd rather be playing around outside. So Ern
concocts the perfect plan to ditch her personal PDA and, when she doesn't show up on
schedule one day, her parents get to walk in her shoes for a spell, crossing the bridge she
built between what the child-in-her needs and what her parents want for their little girl.
Not only do they get a healthy dose of empathy, but they ultimately learn a very valuable
lesson about the importance of being Ernestine.
The eye-catching illustrations by Suzanne Beaky totally pop off of the pages, adding a
marvelous magic to this terrific text. Put this one on your wish list; it'll undoubtedly serve
an important reminder (that you'll want to revisit time and time again!) about encouraging
your busy beavers to engage in purposeful play.
From Access Magazine, The Netherlands (see page 35)
In her new book, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, Netherlands-based author,
Linda Lodding gives us a glimpse into Ernestine's world of rigid schedules, where
afterschool time is spent exclusively on taking more classes. What Ernestine really longs to
do is play in the park with her friends. This book, which reminds us that a happy life is a
balanced life, is a delightful read that is enhanced by a cast of colourful characters and
humorous illustrations by Suzanne Beaky.
From Bookfoolery and Babble blog
"...a meaningful but nicely silly story with cheerful, goofy, colorful illustrations.
The author was particularly clever at naming Ernestine's teachers. She takes sculpting from
Mr. Lumpkin. Mrs. Goldfisher teaches water ballet. Mrs. Stichem is her knitting instructor.
Karate is taught by Grand Master Hi Ya. Nanny O'Dear says "Oh, Dear," quite a bit as
she finds Ernestine's calendar of activities complex enough to make the occasional error.
Illustration-wise, I particularly love the fact that the "cast" -- teachers, friends and
classmates -- is ethnically mixed. And, Ernestine's two cats add a bit of adorable fun to
the depictions of Ernestine's home interior. The bottom line: A bright and playfully
illustrated, immensely clever story about how living life to the fullest can be
accomplished without exhausting oneself by cramming in as many activities as possible...."
From Midwest Book Review
The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a paean to play, especially for kids. Well-
meaning adults end up pressuring children to fulfill busy schedules of performance
expectations without realizing that one of the most precious experiences only children will
have is free time to play, experiment, imagine, and just be. Ernestine’s busy life should be
fully satisfying, with sculpting, water ballet, knitting, tuba lessons, yodeling, karate lessons,
and yoga. But something is missing, even though the Buckmeisters hire Nanny O’Dear to
help keep Ernestine on schedule. Ernestine begins to look pale and tired. What Ernestine
would really like to do is just spend some time playing ball outdoors with Hugo, her
neighbor. Ernestine decides to schedule something new for herself. This alarms her
parents, who are unable to find her at any of her exhausting, scheduled activities. Finally
they find her on top of a big hill, just looking at clouds and inhaling, enjoying the view, with
Nanny O’Dear. All adults gradually see the light, and though Ernestine continues to do
some of her scheduled activities, sometimes she just plays! The vibrant, colorful
illustrations help lift each page of spunky narration. The Busy Life of Ernestine
Buckmeister will appeal to overachieving kids of all ages, or 4-8.
From Wonder of Children blog
Lodding’s tongue-twisting names, hilarious text, and lessons on the importance of play are
complimented by Suzanne Beaky’s whimsical illustrations. It’s a combination that
immediate attracts and then sustains the readers’ attention to create a lasting story that lets
us all find personal connections. Ernestine is sure to earn her place among such classic
literary heroines as Clementine, Eloise, Madeline, Ramona and Junie B. Jones!
From My Shelf.com
"...The text is filled with lively action and the illustrations are fun with a bit of whimsy. I
could see it as a huge favorite in library storytime, and what child wouldn't like seeing the
story child teach the parents something new?"
From The Childrens Book Review blog
...Linda Ravin Lodding’s amusing send-up to overscheduled children who don’t have time
to frolic and just enjoy being kids imparts a very wise lesson disguised as a comic
adventure tale.... Suzanne Beaky’s lightheartedly silly illustrations, of Ernestine’s teachers
like Pearl Stitchem, Grand Master Hi Ya and Mr. Oompah, make this book even more
playful and fun.
From Tortoise on the Loose blog
"...While the book’s message can be sobering, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is
far from serious. This light-hearted story will entertain any elementary school-aged child as
they read about Ernestine knitting with Mrs. Pearl Stitchem and practicing yoga with Guru
Prakash Pretzel. The illustrations by Suzanne Beaky are bright and engaging."
From The Children's Book Review blog
" amusing send-up to overscheduled children who don’t have time to frolic and just enjoy
being kids imparts a very wise lesson disguised as a comic adventure tale.
From Mommy Secrets blog
"...This book is packed full of character lessons around goal-setting, communication,
integrity, social skills, time management, planning, decision-making, and family
relationships. It’s a great tool for teachers, counselors, librarians and parents."
From SFC (Stories for Children): Families Matter blog
"...The book is entertaining but also offers food for thought on just how we plan our time
with our children. What is important to you and your child? The story will be read over
and over again bringing an opportunity for frank discussions about what activities matter
and what can be changed or eliminated .Take time to read this with your child today. You
will be glad for the moments shared."
From Imagination Soup blog
One of Best New Picture Books for Emotional Intelligence
From PlayEverything blog
"...It’s no wonder that she’s exhausted, and regular readers will be entirely unsurprised to
hear that what she really needs is more time to play. Beautifully illustrated and charmingly
written,The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a funny, warm-hearted and insightful
story about one child’s need and right to play – and how she cleverly educates the adults
around her about the importance in play in everyday life...."
From Parent Pages News
This is a charming book to share with kids and parents as the new school year gets
underway. There will be many new things kids will beg to get involved in, but wise
parents will make room for lots of “free” time as well. This would be a great book to add
to a school lending library.
From Once Upon a Book blog
"...Linda Lodding does a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the story with a reminder
to “live life to the fullest!” A good message, certainly. But before long, Linda has the
reader questioning this motto and how people can take it to unhealthy extremes. After all,
how can poor Ernestine live life to the fullest if she never has time to play?
I must confess an immediate attraction to Suzanne Beaky’s colorful illustrations. The
characters’ expressions are poignant without becoming exaggerated. The character
placement and attention to detail encourage the reader to imagine and relate with all the
silly and funny elements, while emphasizing a real concern over burning out due to an
overabundance of activities. My favorite illustration, by far, is of Ernestine with her arms
thrown wide open, inviting the characters around her and the reader to stop and inhale.
I love it when I stumble into – or have sent my way by well-meaning souls – a book that
speaks to adults as much as it speaks to children. Linda Lodding does this very well. She
reminds adults, children, and the parents and caregivers who love them about the
importance of play without being preachy. While this book is aimed at children ages 5 and
up, I highly recommend it to parents and caregivers as well for its insight into the mind of a
child who is suffering more than benefiting from a packed schedule.
This picture book encourages the reader to ask questions such as: What does it mean to
live life to its fullest? How can we encourage our children to live life to the fullest? Why are
learning activities such as the ones Ernestine participates in considered essential to having a
full life? What is the importance of play?
I’d like to thank Linda for sending this wonderful book my way for review. It came at the
most opportune time where “busy” has become synonymous to my name. It has reminded
me to stop and inhale and remember what is most important. And to get back to blogging
From Pink and Green Mama blog
Your book looks adorable, I love the message you’re sending. It’s our parenting
philosophy for our two girls. Right now is the time for them to be kids and play; they can
have schedules and busy routines later in life when they’re adults (if they want to).
-- MaryLea Harris
From Librarians, Teachers, and Parents
As they encourage their daughter to “live life to the fullest” and “make every moment
count,” Ernestine Buckmeister’s parents haven’t a clue that their over-scheduled child has
no time for that all important activity: play… imaginative, self-directed play! In reply to
their well-meaning directive, Ernestine can only yawn from exhaustion. By the end of this
revealing romp through her adult-inspired week, Ernestine, her parents and her nanny have
all learned the importance of child’s play. Hopefully, parents reading this delightful book
with their children will absorb this lesson, as well. --Davis James, Lower School Librarian,
From Modernizing Mary Poppins blog
"...The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister... embodies what I believe is so vital for
children. It’s done in such a fun way. I loved the idea of losing track of what you are
supposed to be doing, when, and where. I get being that nanny who needed to juggle it all.
I understand the child saying no to it all, and the caregiver supporting her in her decision!
The illustrations by Suzanne Beaky are fabulous. My charges love them. To us they
added so much to the written words I read to the children. They are colorful and funny. I
also am pleased to announce that when I was in a vintage store recently I came across a
hat that looks very similar to Nanny O’Dear’s. It now sits on my mantle at my home.This
is a great book for children and their parents. Also, when a nanny colleague looked at it
the other day she smiled and said, "I must get a copy of this book too."
From Once Upon a Storyville
"This books is a a brilliant reminder of what truly is important and where the true joys of
childhood are found."
As the mother of 6 years old twins with very busy schedules, I loved this book.
Entertaining and fun - it's a lesson for parents as well as kids. I just decided NO classes
this Summer...just lots of time playing, playgrounds and the beach! -Leanne Schild,
My son and I really enjoyed meeting you at The English Bookshop on Sunday. Your
book has become a firm favourite with my little people. The message is joyful,
playful and real in this busy world. Personally, I felt so inspired by you. I have been
writing for a while now and recently attended an event about getting your book published.
I was very disheartened. After meeting you I have worked on my two stories again and
feel more optimistic that some day a child other than my own will enjoy them!
Thank you so very much for your story and Ernestine's.
I wish you every success.
What an adorable book! It teaches all of us a very valuable lesson. Sometimes it’s best
to just play and not be overscheduled. This book is perfect for elementary students and
all of us type “A” moms who need to be reminded our little ones just need time to play! -
Teresa Webb, Media Specialist, Jackson Primary School, Atlanta, GA
Hardcover, 32 color pages, ages 4-8
ISBN 9780979974694, October 2011
|Read excerpts from a New York Times article,
"Effort to Restore Children's Play
|Learn to yodel with child yodeling sensation
Taylor Ware. She even sings the name of
one of our characters, Little Old Lady Hoo!
dressed up as
|Picture Books That Explore and Illuminate
Lexile Measure: 720L
Mean Sentence Length: 8.82
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.18
Word Count: 873
Peek inside by clicking the cover