Lively Elizabeth!: What Happens When You Push, written by Mara Bergman and illustrations by Cassia Thomas, for children 3-6 yrs. Bergman uses rhyme in a very vibrant way to capture her characters and story line. Cassie, a first-time children’s book illustrator, impressively uses vivid color and detail to beautifully support this story. A winning combination for both author and illustrator.
Elizabeth is a tad too high-spirited for her own good. She is energetic, fun-loving, and mischievous. While standing in line at school, she decides to push Joe Fitzhugh, who knocks down Ethan Snell, who falls on Annabelle, who bumps Norine… thus creating huge chain reaction of crashes, flailing arms and legs, knocked down sporting equipment, books and musical instruments. Joe Fitzhugh explodes in anger at Elizabeth and yells “You pushed me and hurt everyone!” Elizabeth faces her peers, which may even more challenging than the teacher.
Lively Elizabeth is fun story that provides an excellent teaching moment for parents and teachers to start talking with young children about pushing, accountability, apologizing and forgiveness. In fact, it’s a book to be read and reread often to remind children to respect one another.