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Just in Case    by Judith Viorst & Diana Cain Bluthenthal order for
Just in Case
by Judith Viorst
Order:  USA  Can
Atheneum, 2006 (2006)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Charlie is always ultra-prepared for any situation. He digs a pit in case a lion gets loose from the zoo; dresses in rain gear in case it rains inside the house; and takes along oars and a net to the beach in the event he captures a mermaid. He even has an elaborate scheme to get rid of a babysitter, in case the babysitter turns out to be horrible.

The overly-cautious Charlie has become an expert in creating imaginative, impossible scenarios, either because of a child's sense of wonder, or a child's creative imagination. In the end, he is completely taken aback by a birthday party surprise, one of the first events in his life in which he is utterly unprepared. He learns, of course, that life cannot always be mapped out, and once in a while, the unexpected can be quite fun.

Judith Viorst proves time and time again that she really understands children and their way of thinking, while Bluthenthal's cartoon-like illustrations lend comedic appeal to this well-done children's book.

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