For today’s review I will talk about Crusher is Coming - one of my favorite picture books.
I read this book ten years ago and for some reason the story just stuck with me and immediately jumped to mind as one of my favorites.
Crusher Is Coming was published in 1988 by Lothian books. It was written by Bob Graham. Nice job, Bob!
Pete is busy getting everything just right for Crusher's visit. Crusher is the school football hero and he is obviously cool and Pete wants to impress him into thinking he is cool, too. Pete wants his baby sister out of the way as well as all of her toys. Why? Because crusher is cool and he’s tough and plays football. His little sister will embarrass him. Clearly Pete thinks he knows Crusher, but when Crusher arrives, the big football star would rather play silly games with Pete’s Little Sister than play "Raiders of the Universe" with Pete. It seems Crusher may not be a crusher through and through.
I really love this book. Pete tries so hard to win the approval of Crusher and gets rid of everything in his house that might embarrass him in front of his tough, cool friend. Pete does not want Crusher to thing he is childish or silly. But Crusher takes an immediate shine to Pete’s little sister, who has no such qualms about acting silly or childish because she is a child! Surprisingly, Crusher is quite comfortable doing silly things, too, or acting childish. Crusher is simply being true to his nature – he’s a softie who loves kids, and he may just be a little kid himself, at heart. He’s definitely not your stereotypical muscle-bound meathead. And he’s not the least bit embarrassed to act silly in front of Pete.
The story works on many levels. It celebrates the joy of letting go of your inhibitions and just having fun. It reminds us why children are so special in that they have no inhibitions, guile or bad intent. They are pure creatures who just want to play and share their joy with friends. It reminds us that it is healthy to be true to yourself and that you should not worry so much about what everyone else thinks of you. Good messages, all, and the story doesn’t smack you over the head with them. At the end of the book you want to be friends with Crusher, not because he is tough and cool but because you know that if he was your friend, you would feel free to be yourself and have fun.