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All in One Piece    by Jill Murphy order for
All in One Piece
by Jill Murphy
Order:  USA  Can
Paper Star, 1999 (1987)
Hardcover, Paperback
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

All in One Piece is one in a series about the daily trials and tribulations of a charming family of elephants. They are Mr. and Mrs. Large, Lester, Laura and the littlest Large. Mrs. Large has been looking forward all year to her night out at the office dinner-dance, and Granny is coming to babysit. When she arrives, the two parents go upstairs to get ready, and the fun begins.

The children can't stay away from their parents' preparations and, of course, create chaos with them, applying makeup, trying on clothes and generally getting in the way. Poor Mrs. Large loses her cool ... 'Can't I have just one night in the whole year to myself? ... when I can put on my new dress and walk through the front door all in one piece?' Of course, we all know the answer to that!

The kids are abashed, the parents escape and there is a delightful surprise of an ending which made my children and I chuckle each time we read it. All in One Piece is a lovely story that teaches little ones to respect their parents' need for time to themselves, but it's also very accepting of children's need for involvement in parental activities - one of my favorite picture books.

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