Friday, March 16, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: The Pink Refrigerator
Author/Illustrator: Tim Egan
Publisher/Date: Houghton Mifflin/2007
Genre/Audience: Fiction/Preschool and up

Themes: self-actualization and laziness

Opening: "Dodsworth loved to do nothing.  Now, this isn't to say that he never did anything, because he did.  But his motto was basically 'Try to do as little as possible.'"

Synopsis: From School Library Journal: "Dodsworth leads a rather dull and lazy life of naps, TV, and daily junkyard trips to replenish his thrift-shop stock. The mouse's routines are abruptly altered when he is attracted to a magnet on the front of a rusty pink refrigerator. The mysterious appliance becomes his cornucopia for adventures as it is filled with different supplies each day to help him follow the gentle suggestions written on notes held under the magnet: "Make pictures"; "Read more"; "Play music." His days become so filled with purpose and life that when a last note on the now-empty refrigerator exhorts him to "Keep exploring," Dodsworth finds he has the inner resources to do just that. Egan's masterful handling of the character's growth from lazy lump to a delighted self-starter will engage readers."

Why I Love This Book Have you ever been stuck in a rut?  I love this book because it bumps the lazy Dodsworth off his couch and into action.  His curiosity is motivated by a mysterious refrigerator.  I would love to have all the time in the world to follow various paths of interest.  It is very satisfying to see a character change his perspective on the world and choose adventure over a life lived vicariously in front of the television.

Children can make a list of things they would like to learn or explore, as noted in the following article:

An educational article entitled "Critically Reading the Word and the World" uses The Pink Refrigerator as one example for activities such as literary maps and 'sketch-to-stretch'.

For more links to Perfect Picture Books, a collection of bloggers who contribute at Susanna Leonard Hill’s site, click here.


  1. Nessa, what a creative and quirky idea for a picture book. It works well and certainly lures Dodsworth (love the name) out of his rut into exploring. Great choice with a nice message.

  2. This is an interesting and fanciful idea for a book, I am intrigued! The artwork has such lovely, soft colors. Thank you for this recommendation!

  3. Hi Laura, I am glad to have been led to your site through the PPBF meme of Susanna. I love the opening line: "try to do as little as possible" - as most of us rush through things and do about a million things at the same time, this seems like the perfect book to unwind and chill. :) Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Laura...lovely book for PPBF and great resources as well.
    So many children become caught up in the TV and video game trap...or sit around saying they have "nothing to do"...what a wonderful book to read to ignite a spark of adventure in them. My own children NEVER told me they had nothing to do, because they knew I would find them something to do (like dusting) they were very inventive on their own. :)

    1. Love that idea! When my boys are a bit older and have their own chores, I'll have to steal that "nothing to do" motivator!

  5. Wow, that storyline totally grabs me. What a clever idea! I think this would speak to adults and kids alike. Nessa, thanks so much for this recommendation!

  6. Sorry, should read Laura, please edit if you can!

  7. The title grabbed me (well, I'm late on commenting on PPBF). What a fun storyline and activities.

  8. I agree with Stacy. The title is a hook within itself!