by Schlessinger, Laura C.
In her latest children's book, popular radio talk-show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger turns her attention to the dreaded child-in-a-toy-store phenomenon. The temptations for young Sammy (protagonist of Dr. Laura's earlier bestselling title, Why Do You Love Me?) prove to be too much when he accompanies his mother to the toy store to select a gift for his two-year-old cousin. "But I waaannt it!" Sammy whines, clinging to an armful of stuffed animals. "Having them all will make me so verrry happy." In a strategic (and wallet-emptying) maneuver, Sammy's mother buys him everything he wants, trusting that, once home with the overwhelmingly excessive menagerie, he will somehow learn a lesson. And in this story, the lesson he learns is that things do not have the power to make people happy. As his mother says, "It's how special something or someone is to you that makes you happy." This picture book is no more pleasant to read than it is to see a child whining in a store, but if its lesson sinks in, parents everywhere will breathe a sigh of relief. (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter