Cover image for Harriet, you'll drive me wild
Harriet, you'll drive me wild
Fox, Mem, 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 2000.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
When a young girl has a series of mishaps at home one day, her mother tries not to lose her temper--and does not quite succeed.
Reading Level:
AD 280 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.3 0.5 41007.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.1 1 Quiz: 25112 Guided reading level: G.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC.BK Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
East Delavan Branch Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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Harriet Harris doesn't mean to be pesky. Sometimes she just is. And her mother doesn't mean to lose her temper. Sometimes she just does. But Harriet and her mother know that even when they do things they wish they hadn't, they still love each other very much. Inspired by the tenderness and turmoil of their relationships with their own children, Mem Fox and Marla Frazee have created a gentle, hilarious--and wild--book that will resonate in the hearts of parents and children everywhere. •From the author of the bestselling Time for Bed and the illustrator of the enormously popular The Seven Silly Eaters • Ideal for Mother's Day • Offers a realistic and loving solution to a universal parenting problem • Encourages discussion between parents and children

Author Notes

Mem Fox was born on March 5, 1946 in Melbourne, Australia. She attended a drama school in London. She returned to Australia where she was a college professor.

She writes children's books including Possum Magic, Night Noises, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Time for Bed, Koala Lou, Wombat Divine, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Hello Baby!, A Giraffe in the Bath (co-written with Olivia Rawson), Count Goats!, and The Little Dragon. She has also written several books for adults.

She has received numerous awards including the 1990 Dromkeen Medal for distinguished services to children's literature, a 1991 Advance Australia Award for her outstanding contribution to Australian literature, and a medal in the 1993 Australia Day Honours awards for services to the cultural life of Australia.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 2^-4. It's a scenario that nearly every young preschooler--and loving parent--will recognize. Harriet is a pesky kid. She doesn't mean to be (she says), and she's always really sorry after she knocks over her juice, drips paint on the carpet, rips open a feather pillow, and creates mayhem and mess. Her increasingly exasperated mother starts off with affectionate protest ("My darling child"), but under the sweetness, Mother's anger is rising, until, finally, she yells and yells and yells. Harriet cries, her mother is sorry, and they hug each other and laugh together. As in Hush, Little Baby [BKL N 15 99], Frazee's colored pencil and ink illustrations extend the story with unexpected angles, details, and juxtapositions that will make kids laugh at the mess and look closely at the expressions of temper and affection. What's great here is that as the tension rises and rises, you can't wait for the sweetness to go away, the pent-up anger to be released, and have mother and child be open about their feelings. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Harriet is what grown-ups refer to as a handful. Through the course of a day, the youngster, perhaps accidentally, knocks over her juice, drips paint from her picture onto the carpet and slides off her chair at lunchtime, taking the tablecloth with her. Her mother, who "didn't like to yell," handles each incident with good-humored restraint: "Harriet, my darling child. Harriet, you'll drive me wild. Harriet, sweetheart, what are we to do?" But at naptime, Harriet gets on her mother's last nerve when she intentionally rips open a feather pillow: "Then Harriet's mother began to yell./ She yelled and yelled and yelled." It's a situation that may well ring true for every family, and Fox (Sleepy Bears), in a rhythm well known to her fans, resolves it with good sense and warmth (mother and daughter apologize to each other, share a giggle and embark on clean-up together). Visually, the book never strikes a false note: Frazee's (The Seven Silly Eaters) handsome domestic vignettes, framed by generous white space, are realistic and reassuring. All this authenticity, however, adds up to something less than compellingÄthe book ultimately feels more like a parenting article than something children will clamor to hear and see again. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-An exaggerated but recognizable domestic drama with an exasperating, trouble-prone heroine at its center. Harriet is always guilty of some minor but messy infraction like spilling juice, dripping paint, or ripping her feather pillow. She is never naughty on purpose, she says. It just happens, and she is always sorry. Her long-suffering mother is never angry on purpose. It just happens and, when she yells, she is sorry, too. Extending the text, which plays on the parallel between provoked mother and fractious child, are the expressive illustrations done in pencil and transparent drawing inks. Their small, upper-middle class, personal world is depicted in telling detail. While Harriet's mischief escalates, readers are assured of a gentle touch by the pastel palette and the soft-edged pictures that bleed out into generous white space. What seems to be missing in this otherwise charming effort is any evidence of effective parenting. When Harriet spills, mom sponges; when she dribbles, mom launders. "Harriet, my darling child. Harriet, you'll drive me wild," is the overwrought mother's oft-repeated but feckless refrain. There never seem to be any real consequences for Harriet's misbehavior. Only in the final illustration do readers see parent and child cleaning up the mess together. This is meant to be a reassuring book, but it fails if one believes that a consistent, firm, fair parent is always more comforting than one who does not seem in control. David Shannon's No, David! (Scholastic, 1998) handles a similar theme with more deftness and humor.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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